Ethics and Social Ontology

Analyse & Kritik 30 (2):427-443 (2008)
Abstract
Normative theory, in various idioms, has grown wary of questions of ontology—social and otherwise. Thus modern debates in ethics have tended to take place at some distance from debates in social theory. One arguable casualty of this has been due consideration of relational factors in the interrogation of ethical values. Part 1 of this paper addresses some examples of this tendency, and some of the philosophical assumptions which might underlie it. Parts 2 and 3 discuss two issues of growing prominence—disability, and environmental concern—due attention to which, I argue, highlights strong reasons why severing ethics from social ontology is neither possible nor desirable. I conclude by recommending a qualified ethical naturalism as a promising candidate through which, non-reductively, to reunite these two areas of theoretical focus
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DOI 10.1515/auk-2008-0205
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