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Stephen Darwall presents a series of essays that explore the Second-Person Standpoint (SPS)--an argument which advances an analysis of central moral concepts as irreducibly second personal in the sense of entailing mutual accountability and the authority to address demands. He illustrates the power of the second-personal framework to illuminate a wide variety of issues in moral, political, and legal philosophy. Section I concerns morality: for example,its distinctiveness among normative concepts, the relation between 'bipolar' obligations (owed to someone) and moral obligation period, and whether morality requires general principles. Section II focuses on autonomy, its relation to the will, and the sense in which we can give ourselves reasons for acting.And Section III concerns the nature of authority and the law. It argues that only a second-personal framework is able to explain these and the differences between criminal and civil law.
Stephen Darwall is Andrew Downey Orrick Professor of Philosophy at Yale University and John Dewey Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan. He has written widely on the history and foundations of ethics. His most important books include: Impartial Reason (1983), The British Moralists and the Internal 'Ought': 1640-1740, Philosophical Ethics (1998), Welfare and Rational Care (2002), and The Second-Person Standpoint (2006). He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and, with David Velleman, founding co-editor of Philosophers' Imprint.
Table of Contents
1. Morality's Distinctiveness
2. Bipolar Obligation
3. Moral Obligation: Form and Substance
4. 'But It Would Be Wrong'
5. Morality and Principle
6. Because I Want It
7. The Value of Autonomy and Autonomy of the Will
III: Authority and Law
8. Authority and Second-Personal Reasons for Acting
9. Authority and Reasons: Exclusionary and Second Personal
10. Law and the Second-Person Standpoint
11. Civil Recourse as Mutual Accountability (co-authored with Julian Darwall)