Michalos and the theory of ethical theory

Journal of Business Ethics 29 (1-2):19 - 23 (2001)
Abstract
The paper replies to Professor Alex Michalos'' keynote address, "Ethics Counsellors as a New Priesthood". Michalos argues that an intractable diversity of opinion about fundamental issues in ethical theory precludes substantive, well-founded ethical counselling. However, Michalos has inappropriately modelled his understanding of an acceptable structure and application for ethical theory on natural scientific theory. For we may countenance a less severe understanding of theory for ethical theory than in the hard sciences. In particular, instructive moral reasoning may tolerate a degree of disagreement across human beings in their conception of moral good. On condition that such variance is not so considerable as to undermine a necessary commonality of language on ethical matters, there will be an adequate basis for warranted theory-construction in ethics and effective moral counselling underwritten by such theory. And, on the available historical evidence, such a condition can be met.
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