David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Inquiry 34 (2):155 – 182 (1991)
In his impressive and wide?ranging new book, Sources of the Self, Charles Taylor argues that modern moral philosophy, at least within the Anglo?American tradition, . offers a ?cramped? view of morality. Taylor attributes this problem to three distinctive features of contemporary moral theory ? its commitment to procedural rather than substantive rationality, its preference for basic reasons rather than qualitative distinctions, and its belief in the priority of the right over the good. According to Taylor, the result of these features is that contemporary moral theories cannot explain the nature of a worthwhile life, or the grounds for moral respect. Indeed, they render these questions unintelligible. I argue that Taylor has misunderstood the basic structure of most modern moral theory, which seeks to relocate, rather than suppress, these important questions. In particular, he fails to note the difference between general and specific conceptions of the good, between procedures for assessing the good and specific outcomes of that procedure, and between society's enforcement of morality and an individual's voluntary compliance with morality. Each of these distinctions plays an important role in contemporary moral theory. Once they are made explicit, it is clear that many contemporary theorists operate with a more sophisticated account of moral sources than Taylor attributes to them
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Stephen L. Darwall (1983). Impartial Reason. Cornell University Press.
B. J. Diggs (1981). A Contractarian View of Respect for Persons. American Philosophical Quarterly 18 (4):273 - 283.
Ronald Dworkin (1983). Comment on Narveson: In Defense of Equality. Social Philosophy and Policy 1 (01):24-.
David P. Gauthier (1986). Morals by Agreement. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Martin Low-Beer (1991). Living a Life and the Problem of Existential Impossibility. Inquiry 34 (2):217 – 236.
Neera K. Badhwar (1996). Moral Agency, Commitment, and Impartiality. Social Philosophy and Policy 13 (01):1-.
James B. Sauer (1997). Language, Meaning, and Ethics. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 4 (1/2):48-55.
Sebastian Gurciullo (2001). Making Modern Identity: Charles Taylor's Retrieval of Moral Sources. Critical Horizons 2 (1):93-125.
Robert B. Louden (1992). Morality and Moral Theory: A Reappraisal and Reaffirmation. Oxford University Press.
Michael Rosen (1991). Must We Return to Moral Realism? Inquiry 34 (2):183 – 194.
Thomas L. Carson & Paul K. Moser (eds.) (1997). Morality and the Good Life. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2009-03-05
Total downloads17 ( #110,877 of 1,410,148 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #177,743 of 1,410,148 )
How can I increase my downloads?