Thinking about Reasons is a collection of fourteen new essays on topics in ethics and the philosophy of action, inspired in one way or another by the work of Jonathan Dancy--one of his generation's most influential moral philosophers. Many of the most influential living thinkers in the area are contributors to this collection, which also contains an autobiographical afterword by Dancy himself. Topics discussed in this volume include:
DT the idea that the facts that explain action are non-psychological ones
DT buck passing theories of goodness and rightness
DT the idea that some moral reasons justify action without requiring it
DT the particularist idea that there are no true informative moral principles
DT the idea that egoism and impartial consequentialism are self-defeating
DT the idea that moral reasons are dependent on either impersonal value, or benefits to oneself, or benefits to those with whom one has some special connection, but not on deontological constraints
DT the idea that we must distinguish between reasons and enablers, disablers, intensifiers, and attenuators of reasons
DT the idea that, although the lived ethical life is shaped by standing commitments, uncodifable judgement is at least sometimes needed to resolve what to do when these commitments conflict
DT the idea that the value of a whole need not be a mathematical function of the values of the parts of that whole
DT the idea that practical reasoning is based on inference
the idea that there cannot be irreducibly normative properties.
Over the last 40 years, Jonathan Dancy has become one of his generation's most influential moral philosophers. He has authored five books and edited or co-edited five others. His work has shaped developments in metaethics, normative ethics, and the philosophy of action. In this volume, an internationally-renowned cast of contributors get to grips with these developments. In the course of his distinguished career, Dancy has held permanent posts at Keele, Reading, and Texas, and visiting appointments at a number of universities, including Pittsburgh and Oxford.
David Bakhurst is John and Ella G. Charlton Professor of Philosophy at Queen's University, Canada. He is the author of Consciousness and Revolution in Soviet Philosophy (CUP, 1991) and The Formation of Reason (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), and co-editor of The Social Self (with Christine Sypnowich; Sage, 1995) and Jerome Bruner: Language, Culture, Self (with Stuart Shanker; Sage, 2001).
Margaret Olivia Little is Director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. She is co-editor of Moral Particularism (with Brad Hooker; OUP, 2000).
Brad Hooker is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading. He is the author of Ideal Code, Real World (OUP, 2000), and editor of Developing Deontology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012); Truth in Ethics (Blackwell, 1996); and Rationality, Rules, and Utility: New Essays on the Moral Philosophy of Richard Brandt (Westview Press, 1993). He has also co-edited several volumes, including Moral Particularism (with Margaret Olivia Little; OUP, 2000) and Well-Being and Morality: Essays in Honour of James Griffin (with Roger Crisp; OUP, 2000).
Table of Contents
Introduction, BRAD HOOKER
1. Acting in the Light of a Fact, JOHN McDOWELL
2. Can Action Explanations Ever Be Non-Factive?, CONSTANTINE SANDIS
3. The Ideal of Orthonomous Action, or the How and Why of Buck-Passing, MICHAEL SMITH
4. Dancy on Buck Passing, PHILIP STRATTON-LAKE
5. Are Egoism and Consequentialism Self-Refuting?, ROGER CRISP
6. In Defence of Non-deontic Reasons, MARGARET OLIVIA LITTLE
7. The Deontic Structure of Morality, R. JAY WALLACE
8. Morality and Principle, STEPHEN DARWALL
9. Moral Particularism: Ethical Not Metaphysical?, DAVID BAKHURST
10. A Quietist Particularism, A. W. PRICE
11. Contours of the Practical Landscape, DAVID McNAUGHTON AND PIERS RAWLING
12. Why Holists Should Love Organic Unities, SEAN MCKEEVER AND MICHAEL RIDGE
13. Practical Reasoning and Inference, JOHN BROOME
14. Are There Really No Irreducibly Normative Properties?, BART STREUMER