American Philosophical Quarterly 58 (2):135–46 (2021)

Matthieu Queloz
Oxford University
Where does the impetus towards ethical theory come from? What drives humans to make values explicit, consistent, and discursively justifiable? This paper situates the demand for ethical theory in human life by identifying the practical needs that give rise to it. Such a practical derivation puts the demand in its place: while finding a home for it in the public decision-making of modern societies, it also imposes limitations on the demand by presenting it as scalable and context-sensitive. This differentiates strong forms of the demand calling for theory from weaker forms calling for less, and contexts where it has a place from contexts where it is out of place. In light of this, subjecting personal deliberation to the demand turns out to involve a trade-off.
Keywords Ethical Theory  Naturalism  Humanism  Philosophy of Law  Metaethics  Bernard Williams  Isaiah Berlin  Martha Nussbaum  Pluralism  Pragmatism
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References found in this work BETA

Utilitarianism: For and Against.J. J. C. Smart & Bernard Williams - 1973 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Persons, Character, and Morality.Bernard Williams - 1976 - In James Rachels (ed.), Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers 1973–1980. Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Left Wittgensteinianism.Matthieu Queloz & Damian Cueni - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):758-777.
A Shelter From Luck: The Morality System Reconstructed.Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - In András Szigeti & Matthew Talbert (eds.), Morality and Agency: Themes from Bernard Williams. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 182-209.

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