Oxford Scholarly Classics brings together a number of great academic works from the archives of Oxford University Press. Reissued in a uniform series design, they will enable libraries, scholars, and students to gain fresh access to some of the finest scholarship of the last century.
W.D. Ross was the most important opponent of utilitarianism and consequentialism in British moral philosophy between 1861 and 1939. In Rossian Ethics, David Phillips offers the first monograph devoted exclusively to Ross's seminal contribution to moral philosophy. The book has two connected aims. The first is to interpret and evaluate Ross's moral theory. The second is to articulate a distinctive view intermediate between consequentialism and absolutist deontology, which Phillips calls "classical deontology.".
The present work tries to analyze the moral philosophy of William DavidRoss. First, Ross's ethics precedents are exposed, focusing on three authors against whom he acknowledges entering into discussion: Kant, the utilitarians and Moore. This is the aim of the second chapter. Next, Ross's proposal is explained through three axes: 1) the theory of moral knowledge, where his well-known intuitionist theory will appear; 2) the doctrine of correction, composed of deontological pluralism; 3) and the doctrine (...) of good, in which its axiology appears. The following three chapters, respectively, will be dedicated to all this. Finally, we provide the critical vision of some Ross followers and propose half a dozen conclusions. (shrink)
The Right and the Good, a classic of twentieth-century philosophy by the eminent scholar Sir DavidRoss, is now presented in a new edition with a substantial introduction by Philip Stratton-Lake, a leading expert on Ross. Ross's book is the pinnacle of ethical intuitionism, which was the dominant moral theory in British philosophy for much of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Intuitionism is now enjoying a considerable revival, and Stratton-Lake provides the context for a proper (...) understanding of Ross's great work today. (shrink)
The theme announced for these lectures is the philosophy of value. It may seem that moral philosophy, along with aesthetics, the philosophy of art, the philosophy of environment … ought to be a proper part of the philosophy of value. I have chosen mottoes to illustrate the dangers of that supposition.
Recent scientific findings about human decision making would seem to threaten the traditional concept of the individual conscious will. The will is threatened from "below" by the discovery that our apparently spontaneous actions are actually controlled and initiated from below the level of our conscious awareness, and from "above" by the recognition that we adapt our actions according to social dynamics of which we are seldom aware. In Distributed Cognition and the Will, leading philosophers and behavioral scientists consider how much, (...) if anything, of the traditional concept of the individual conscious will survives these discoveries, and they assess the implications for our sense of freedom and responsibility. The contributors all take science seriously, and they are inspired by the idea that apparent threats to the cogency of the idea of will might instead become the basis of its reemergence as a scientific subject. They consider macro-scale issues of society and culture, the micro-scale dynamics of the mind/brain, and connections between macro-scale and micro-scale phenomena in the self-guidance and self-regulation of personal behavior. Contributors: George Ainslie, Wayne Christensen, Andy Clark, Paul Sheldon Davies, Daniel C. Dennett, Lawrence A. Lengbeyer, Dan Lloyd, Philip Pettit, Don Ross, Tamler Sommers, Betsy Sparrow, Mariam Thalos, Jeffrey B. Vancouver, Daniel M. Wegner, Tadeusz W. ZawidzkiDon Ross is Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Finance, Economics, and Quantitative Methods at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Professor of Economics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. David Spurrett is Professor of Philosophy at the Howard College Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Harold Kincaid is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Ethics and Values in the Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. G. Lynn Stephens is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. (shrink)
ABSTRACTWith the recent revival of moral intuitionism, the work of W. D. Ross has grown in stature. But if we look at some recent well-regarded histories, anthologies and companions of analytic philosophy, Ross is noticeably absent. This discrepancy of assessments raises the question of Ross’s place in the history of analytic philosophy. Hans-Johann Glock has recently claimed that Ross is not an analytic philosopher at all, but is instead a ‘traditional philosopher’. In this article, I will (...) identify several undeniable features of analytic philosophy that Ross’s work bears: a focus on linguistic analysis, great respect for pre-theoretical thoughts, the conviction that philosophy is a collaborative, piecemeal enterprise and so on. Such an investigation, I claim, reveals two historically significant results: Ross was the first ethicist to fully draw from commonsense beliefs about morality in light of characteristic analytic considerations to secure his theory. Two, concerning the matter of whether the notion... (shrink)
Recovering Reason: Essays in Honor of Thomas L. Pangle is a collection of essays composed by students and friends of Thomas L. Pangle to honor his seminal work and outstanding guidance in the study of political philosophy. These essays examine both Socrates' and modern political philosophers' attempts to answer the question of the right life for human beings, as those attempts are introduced and elaborated in the work of thinkers from Homer and Thucydides to Nietzsche and Charles Taylor.
Each contributor to this book has used personal experience as the basis from which to frame his individual sociological perspectives. Because they have personalized their work, their accounts are real, and recognizable as having come from 'real' persons, about 'real' experiences. There are no objectively-distanced disembodied third person entities in these accounts. These writers are actual people whose stories will make you laugh, cry, think, and want to know more.
Lea & Webley's (L&W's) non-exclusive distinction between tool-like and drug-like motivators is insufficiently discriminating to say much about money that is useful, as the distinction's equivocal application to sex, food, and drugs shows. Further, it appears as though the motivations of problem gamblers are non-metaphorically like those of drug addicts. (Published Online April 5 2006).
I examine the metaphysical issue of the nature of color. I argue that there are two distinct ranges of colors, namely, physical colors, which are disjunctive monadic physical properties of physical objects, and mental colors, which are properties of neural processes. ;A pair of claims provide the motivation for subjectivist and dispositionalist proposals about the nature of color, proposals which I reject. The first claim holds that a description of colors according to our ordinary experience of color provides a specification (...) of some aspects of the nature of color. The second holds that our ordinary experience of color provides access to the nature of color. ;In chapter 1, I argue that visual experiences have mental colors, neural properties which importantly determine our color categories. However, I reject C. L. Hardin's and James A. McGilvray's arguments for the subjectivist claim that the colors we attribute to physical objects are mental colors. ;In chapter 2, I show that Paul A. Boghossian and J. David Velleman's arguments in support of subjectivism rely on the assumption that visual experience provides unqualified access to the nature of color. I argue, however, that objections to their projectivism about color perception provide strong reasons to reject subjectivism as well as their assumption that visual experience provides unqualified access to the nature of color. ;In chapters 3 and 4, I examine Mark Johnston's and Christopher Peacocke's dispositionalist proposals about the nature of physical colors, which are founded on the claim that ordinary visual experience provides access to an aspect of the nature of color. I undercut dispositionalism by rejecting their arguments for the claim that ordinary visual experience provides such access. ;In chapter 5, I show that Evan Thompson's proposal that the colors of objects are relations between properties of perceivers and objects assumes that a description of color according to our ordinary experience specifies some aspects of the nature of color. I reject this assumption by distinguishing between mental color and physical color. I conclude that rather than specifying the nature of color, descriptions of colors according to our ordinary experience merely serve to fix the reference of color terms. (shrink)
This paper comprises three sections. First, we offer a traditional defence of deontology, in the manner of, for example, W.D. Ross (1965). The leading idea of such a defence is that the right is independent of the good. Second, we modify the now standard account of the distinction, in terms of the agent-relative/agentneutral divide, between deontology and consequentialism. (This modification is necessary if indirect consequentialism is to count as a form of consequentialism.) Third, we challenge a value-based defence of (...) deontology proposed by Quinn (1993), Kamm (1989, 1992), and Nagel (1995). (shrink)
Sir DavidRoss, now nearing his eightieth birthday has published another of his valuable critical texts, provided, like its predecessors, with a commentary. He has made full use of the contributions of Drossaert Lulofs, Forster and Nuyens, at the same time judging them with an independent mind and adding views and arguments of his own. This book greatly facilitates the study of these physiological-psychological treatises which form so indispensable a supplement to the De Anima. --R. W.
The idea that intuition plays a basic role in moral knowledge and moral philosophy probably began in the eighteenth century. British philosophers such as Anthony Shaftsbury, Francis Hutcheson, Thomas Reid, and later David Hume talk about a “moral sense” that they place in John Locke’s theory of knowledge in terms of Lockean reflexive perceptions, while Richard Price seeks a faculty by which we obtain our ideas of right and wrong. In the twentieth century intuitionism in moral philosophy was revived (...) by the works of G. E. Moore, H. A. Prichard, and W. D. Ross. These philosophers reject Kantian deontological ethics and utilitarianism insisting that intuition is the only source of moral knowledge. Recently, there is a renewed interest in intuition by philosophers doing meta-philosophy by reflecting on what philosophers do, and why they disagree. In this essay we plan to take some of this recent literature on intuition and apply it to moral philosophy. We will proceed by defining a conception of intuition, answering some skeptical challenges, delimiting its target, and arguing that intuition is often a source of moral knowledge. (shrink)
The denial of the intrinsic value of acts apart from both motives and consequences lies at the heart of Ross’s deontology and his opposition to ideal utilitarianism. Moreover, the claim that acts can have intrinsic value is a staple element of early and contemporary attempts to “consequentialise” all of morality. I first show why Ross’s denial is relevant both for his philosophy and for current debates. Then I consider and reject as inconclusive some of Ross’s explicit and (...) implicit motivations for his claim, stemming from his philosophy of action, his axiology, and his concept of intrinsic value, or a combination of these. I also criticize Ross’s later view that all right acts somehow produce some good, but that the value of some of these goods is explained by the prior rightness of the act. In the course of the discussion, the idea that acts can have intrinsic value apart from motives and consequences gains credibility both from the weaknesses in Ross’s arguments and from some putative examples. So, finally, I distinguish two attitudes in the history of ideal utilitarianism towards the necessity or not to give a detailed account of the intrinsic value of acts, and suggest that a Why Bother attitude is more promising than a Constructive one. (shrink)
Das »Richtige und das Gute« (1930), das ethische Hauptwerk W. D. Ross’, enthält eine Vielzahl wichtiger moralphilosophischer Thesen und Argumente, die bis in die Gegenwart kontrovers diskutiert werden. Im Mittelpunkt steht seine pluralistische Deontologie, der zufolge sich die richtige Handlung aus einer Abwägung der in der jeweiligen Situation relevanten und unableitbaren Prima-facie-Pflichten ergibt, von denen nur ein Teil auf die Optimierung der Handlungsfolgen bezogen ist. Diese Deontologie wurde zu einem modernen Klassiker unter den normativen ethischen Theorien. Darüber hinaus stellt (...)Ross’ These, dass moralische Intuitionen eine Quelle selbstevidenten Wissens sein können, einen wichtigen Referenzpunkt in Debatten um den erkenntnistheoretischen Fundamentalismus dar. Auch für die Handlungstheorie liefert Ross einflussreiche Argumente, wenn er die Ansicht vertritt, dass Pflichten nie ein bestimmtes Motiv des Handelnden zum Gegenstand haben können. Eine zentrale Stellung nimmt für Ross die Güterlehre ein, in welcher er von vier Grundgütern, Tugend, Wissen, Lust und Gerechtigkeit, ausgeht. Wurde Ross in den ersten Jahrzehnten des 20. Jahrhunderts im damaligen Großbritannien als ein herausragender Ethiker – einer der bedeutendsten des Jahrhunderts, auf Augenhöhe mit G.E. Moore – angesehen, wandelte sich das Meinungsbild in den folgenden Jahrzehnten unter dem Einfluss besonders des Logischen Positivismus und der Philosophie Wittgensteins. In den letzten Jahrzehnten ist jedoch wieder ein wachsendes Interesse an Ross’ Ethik festzustellen. Dabei wird »Das Richtige und das Gute« bisweilen sogar mit der »Nikomachischen Ethik«, Kants »Grundlegung« und Humes »Untersuchung über die Prinzipien der Moral« verglichen. (shrink)
Philosophers and behavioral scientists discuss what, if anything, of the traditionalconcept of individual conscious will can survive recent scientific discoveries that humandecision-making is distributed across different brain processes and ...
In this article I describe the theoretical underpinnings of 20th-century British philosopher W. D. Ross's approach to linking deontological and teleological decision making. I attempt to fill in what Ross left on the whole unanswered, that is, how to use his duties to resolve dilemmas. A case study in journalism demonstrates how to apply the theory. I conclude with an analysis of what I take to be the strengths and weaknesses in Ross's theory.