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Philosophical ethics consists in the human endeavour to answer rationally the fundamental question of how we should live. The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics explores the history of philosophical ethics in the western tradition from Homer until the present day. It provides a broad overview of the views of many of the main thinkers, schools, and periods, and includes in addition essays on topics such as autonomy and impartiality. The authors are international leaders in their field, and use their expertise and specialist knowledge to illuminate the relevance of their work to discussions in contemporary ethics. The essays are specially written for this volume, and in each case introduce the reader to the main lines of interpretation and criticism that have arisen in the professional history of philosophy over the past two or three decades.