The Many Moral Rationalisms

The Many Moral Rationalisms


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Moral rationalism takes human reason and human rationality to be the key elements in an explanation of the nature of morality, moral judgment, and moral knowledge. This volume explores the resources of this rich philosophical tradition. Thirteen original essays, framed by the editors' introduction, critically examine the four core theses of moral rationalism: (i) the psychological thesis that reason is the source of moral judgment, (ii) the metaphysical thesis that moral requirements are constituted by the deliverances of practical reason, (iii) the epistemological thesis that moral requirements are knowable a priori, and (iv) the normative thesis that moral requirements entail valid reasons for action. The five essays in Part I ('Normativity') offer contemporary defences or reconstructions of Kant's attempt to ground the normative thesis, that moral requirements entail valid reasons for action, in the nature of practical reason and practical rationality. The four essays in Part II ('Epistemology & Meaning') consider the viability of claims to a priori moral knowledge. The authors of all four essays are sympathetic to a realist moral metaphysics, and thus forgo the straightforward constructivist road to apriority. The four essays in Part III ('Psychology') each grapple with the implications for rationalism of the role of emotions and unconscious processes in moral judgement and action. Together the essays demonstrate that moral rationalism identifies not a single philosophical position but rather a family of philosophical positions, which resemble traditional rationalism, as exemplified by Kant, to varying degrees.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198797074
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 09/26/2018
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Karen Jones is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne. She received her PhD from Cornell University. She has written extensively about trust, what it is, and when it is justified. She also writes on moral epistemology, the emotions, and rationality. Much of her work is from a feminist perspective.

Francois Schroeter is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne, which he joined in 2003 after spending time at the University of Michigan and the ANU. He has written widely on metaethics and moral psychology.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction, Francois Schroeter, Karen Jones, and Laura Schroeter
2. Humanity as an End in Itself, Julia Markovits
3. Three Kinds of Moral Rationalism, Michael Smith
4. Constitutivism about Reasons: Autonomy and Understanding, Karl Schafer
5. Constructing Practical Normativity, Nicholas Southwood
6. Moral Requirements and Permissions, and the Requirements and Permissions of Reason, Sarah Buss
7. Reasons and Justifiability, Laura Schroeter and Francois Schroeter
8. Rationalist Metaphysics, Semantics and Metasemantics, Mark van Roojen
9. Naturalistic Moral Realism, Rationalism,and Non-Fundamental Epistemology, Tristram McPherson
10. The Motivating Power of the A Priori Obvious, Ram Neta
11. Stupid Goodness, Garrett Cullity
12. What Does it Take to Act for Moral Reasons?, Alison Hills
13. Towards a Trajectory-Dependent Model of (Human) Rational Agency, Karen Jones
14. The Limits of Emotion in Moral Judgment, Joshua May

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