Variations on Some Rossian Themes

Abstract

In this dissertation, I develop and defend some of W. D. Ross’s moral views. Ross’s views, I argue, are often highly plausible, though it is also often the case that variations on (or modifications to) his views are needed in order to remain philosophically tenable. In my dissertation, I explain why these variations are necessary and what they should look like. In chapter 1, I discuss Ross’s theory of moral rightness in his most important work, The Right and the Good. In chapters 2 and 3, I correct various misunderstandings about Ross’s position: I argue that he is no more a particularist about absolute duty than a utilitarian or a Kantian is, and on many definitions of “pluralism” present in the literature, he is not in fact a pluralist, as he is typically assumed to be. In chapter 4, I discuss several objections that Ross later comes to make to his own theory of rightness; I argue, however, that none of them are any good. In chapter 5, I argue against Ned Markosian’s recent claim that “Rossian Minimalism” is the best theory of rightness that makes use of the concept of a prima facie duty: Ross’s own theory (or, at least, a “world” version of it) is, I maintain, superior to Rossian Minimalism. In chapter 6, I address some objections to Ross’s theory suggested by Michael Stocker and Michael Slote and demonstrate that the best way of responding to them is by transforming Ross’s theory into a “dual-ranking” one. In chapter 7, I discuss Ross’s theory of the subjective sense of “right” (chapters 1-6 are primarily concerned with Ross’s theory of the objective sense of the term). I show that Ross’s theory is problematic, and I offer a better theory in its place. In chapter 8, I turn to Ross’s theory of moral goodness. I argue that his theory is more plausible than other theories suggested in the literature, but it suffers from the “nepotism problem.” I show that Ross’s solution to this problem is unsatisfactory and suggest a better way forward.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,907

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Similar books and articles

Doubts about Prima Facie Duties.Peter Jones - 1970 - Philosophy 45 (171):39 - 54.
Sir David Ross's Pluralistic Theory of Duty.Kenneth Wilson Cooley - 1992 - Dissertation, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
A Kantian intuitionism.Robert Audi - 2001 - Mind 110 (439):601-635.
On Audi's Marriage of Ross and Kant.Thomas Hurka - 2007 - In Mark Timmons, John Greco & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Rationality and the Good: Critical Essays on the Ethics and Epistemology of Robert Audi. Oxford University Press. pp. 64-72.
On Being Deserving.James Owen McLeod - 1995 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Ross and the concept of a prima facie duty.H. J. McCloskey - 1963 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):336 – 345.
A Partial Application Procedure for Ross’s Ethical Theory.B. C. Postow - 2006 - Journal of Philosophical Research 31:239-248.
The Right and the Good. Some Problems in Ethics.W. D. Ross - 1930 - Oxford: Clarendon Press. Edited by Philip Stratton-Lake.
Prima facie good.R. Kane - 1988 - Journal of Value Inquiry 22 (4):279-297.

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-11-11

Downloads
36 (#455,854)

6 months
13 (#218,677)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

William David Ross.Anthony Skelton - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Add more citations

References found in this work

A Defense of a Particularist Research Program.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (2):181-199.

Add more references