Moral Escapism and Applied Ethics

Philosophical Papers 31 (3):251-270 (2002)
Abstract
Abstract Applied ethics is commonly carried out on the assumption that moral decisions can be handled by experts. This involves a failure to recognize that being morally serious means recognizing that one cannot hand over responsibility for certain decisions to anyone else. The idea of moral expertise is shown to be based on a misconstrual of the nature of moral discourse, one that can be overcome by following Wittgenstein's exhortation to philosophers to pay heed to the actual uses of language. The sense of a moral judgment cannot be considered in isolation from what the speaker is doing in the context of utterance. The author concludes by suggesting that this discussion can provide the basis for a new reading of Anscombe's essay ?Modern Moral Philosophy?
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