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Mainstream philosophical discussions of ethics usually involve either a search for a problem-solving theory (such as utilitarianism), or an exploration of ontological status (of things like obligations or reasons). This book will argue that such efforts are often misplaced. Instead, the proper starting point should always be the actual words and deeds of ordinary people in ordinary disagreements; for the ethical concepts in play can only derive their full meaning within the context of ordinary human lives. This will require a better understanding of the 'ordinary', and of what it means to lead a life.