This unique collection of essays has two main purposes. The first is to honour the pioneering work of Cora Diamond, one of the most important living moral philosophers and certainly the most important working in the tradition inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein. The second is to develop and deepen a picture of moral philosophy by carrying out new work in what Diamond has called the realistic spirit.

The contributors in this book advance a first-order moral attitude that pays close attention to actual moral life and experience. Their essays, inspired by Diamond’s work, take up pressing challenges in Anglo-American moral philosophy, including Diamond’s defence of the concept ‘human being’ in ethics, her defence of literature as a source of moral thought that does not require external sanction from philosophy, her challenge to the standard ‘fact/value’ dichotomy, and her exploration of non-argumentative forms of legitimate moral persuasion. There are also essays that apply this framework to new issues such as the nature of love, the connections of ethics to theology, and the implications of Wittgenstein’s thought for political philosophy.

Finally, the book features a new paper by Diamond in which she contests deep-rooted philosophical assumptions about language that severely limit what philosophers see as the possibilities in ethics. Morality in a Realistic Spirit offers a tribute to a great moral philosopher in the best way possible—by taking up the living ideas in her work and taking them in original and interesting directions.

chapter |11 pages


chapter 1|38 pages

Ethics and Experience 1

chapter 2|18 pages

Cora Diamond and the Uselessness of Argument

Distances in Metaphysics and Ethics 1

chapter 3|13 pages

The Importance of Being Fully Human

Transformation, Contemplation, and Ethics

chapter 4|17 pages

How to Be Somebody Else

Imaginative Identification in Ethics and Literature

chapter 5|15 pages

Different Themes of Love

chapter 6|19 pages

A Brilliant Perspective

Diamondian Ethics

chapter 7|14 pages

The Riddling God

chapter 8|11 pages

Shakespeare, Value, and Diamond

chapter 10|18 pages

Difficulties of Reality, Skepticism, and Moral Community

Remarks After Diamond on Cavell 1

chapter 11|21 pages

Comparison or Seeing-As?

The Holocaust and Factory Farming 1

chapter 12|14 pages

Two Conceptions of “Community”

As Defined by What It Is Not, or as Defined by What It Is

chapter 13|13 pages

Thinking With Animals