Cascading Morality After Dewey: A Proposal for a Pluralist Meta-Ethics with a Subsidiarity Hierarchy

Contemporary Pragmatism 18 (1):18-35 (2021)
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Abstract

In response to challenges to moral philosophy presented by other disciplines and facing a diversity of approaches to the foundation and focus of morality, this paper argues for a pluralist meta-ethics that is methodologically hierarchical and guided by the principle of subsidiarity. Inspired by Deweyan pragmatism, this novel and original application of the subsidiarity principle and the related methodological proposal for a cascading meta-ethical architecture offer a “dirty” and instrumentalist understanding of meta-ethics that promises to work, not only in moral philosophy but also in the (rest of the) real world, and that facilitates collaboration with other disciplines outside moral philosophy.

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Mark Coeckelbergh
University of Vienna

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References found in this work

Groundwork for the metaphysics of morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Thomas E. Hill & Arnulf Zweig.
The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya.
An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals.David Hume - 1751 - New York,: Oxford University Press UK. Edited by Tom L. Beauchamp.

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