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Does Morality Have a Point?


Meliopoulos, Michel (2015). Does Morality Have a Point? Ethical Perspectives, 22(1):151-195.

Abstract

Proceeding from the assumption that moral discourse is best conceived of as a practice in the technical sense specified by John Rawls, this paper discusses whether it is possible, adequate or even necessary to take up a legislative perspective on the constitutive rules of the practice. There seem to exist two principal legislative manoeuvres with respect to practices, namely (a) rendering the practice under consideration compatible with a practice that is more important and (b) evaluating the constitutive rules of the practice with respect to its point, purpose or telos. I put under scrutiny two projects in normative ethics which offer an affirmative answer regarding the possibility of moral legislation and which make use of the respective manoeuvres, namely neo-Hobbesian contractarianism and ruleconsequentialism. I thereupon inquire into the merits of a position that draws upon broadly Wittgensteinian considerations and that denies the existence of such a thing as a legislative perspective on morality.

Abstract

Proceeding from the assumption that moral discourse is best conceived of as a practice in the technical sense specified by John Rawls, this paper discusses whether it is possible, adequate or even necessary to take up a legislative perspective on the constitutive rules of the practice. There seem to exist two principal legislative manoeuvres with respect to practices, namely (a) rendering the practice under consideration compatible with a practice that is more important and (b) evaluating the constitutive rules of the practice with respect to its point, purpose or telos. I put under scrutiny two projects in normative ethics which offer an affirmative answer regarding the possibility of moral legislation and which make use of the respective manoeuvres, namely neo-Hobbesian contractarianism and ruleconsequentialism. I thereupon inquire into the merits of a position that draws upon broadly Wittgensteinian considerations and that denies the existence of such a thing as a legislative perspective on morality.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology > Center for Ethics
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Uncontrolled Keywords:moral practice, moral legislation, moral change, constitutive rules, teleological autonomy, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Brad Hooker, Ethical Naturalism, function of morality
Language:German
Date:2015
Deposited On:04 Dec 2015 14:44
Last Modified:31 May 2016 21:43
Publisher:Peeters
ISSN:1370-0049
Additional Information:Catholic University of Leuven ; European Centre for Christian Ethics
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.2143/EP.22.1.3073461
Related URLs:http://philpapers.org/rec/MELDMH

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