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SUBSTANTIVE MORAL THEORY

  • Philip Pettit (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0265052508080011
  • Published online: 20 December 2007
Abstract

Philosophy can serve two roles in relation to moral thinking: first, to provide a meta-ethical commentary on the nature of moral thought, as the methodology or the philosophy of science provides a commentary on the nature of scientific thought; and second, to build on the common presumptions deployed in people's moral thinking about moral issues, looking for a substantive moral theory that they might support. The present essay addresses the nature of this second role; illustrates it with substantive theories that equate moral obligations respectively with requirements of nature, self-interest, benevolence, reason and justifiability; and outlines a novel competitor in which the focus is shifted to requirements of co-reasoning and respect.

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Social Philosophy and Policy
  • ISSN: 0265-0525
  • EISSN: 1471-6437
  • URL: /core/journals/social-philosophy-and-policy
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