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From Principles to Practice
Normativity and Judgement in Ethics and Politics

$84.99 (P)

  • Date Published: November 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107113756

$ 84.99 (P)
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About the Authors
  • Knowledge aims to fit the world, and action to change it. In this collection of essays, Onora O'Neill explores the relationship between these concepts and shows that principles are not enough for ethical thought or action: we also need to understand how practical judgement identifies ways of enacting them and of changing the way things are. Both ethical and technical judgement are supported, she contends, by bringing to bear multiple considerations, ranging from ethical principles to real-world constraints, and while we will never find practical algorithms - let alone ethical algorithms - that resolve moral and political issues, good practical judgement can bring abstract principles to bear in situations that call for action. Her essays thus challenge claims that all inquiry must use either the empirical methods of scientific inquiry or the interpretive methods of the humanities. They will appeal to a range of readers in moral and political philosophy.

    • Takes seriously the differences between action in the world and knowledge of the world
    • Challenges accounts of inquiry that presuppose 'two cultures' frameworks, which focus on empirical methods and interpretation, but ignore the distinctive features of reasoning about action
    • Presents an account of judgement that is relevant not only to expert and professional life, but to ethics and public affairs
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘Onora O'Neill has done seminal work on the interpretation of Kant's moral theory and the development of a modern Kantian ethic over the last several decades. This volume collects several recent essays that take up the role of principles in moral reasoning, the relation between principles and judgement, and related issues. Professor O'Neill's views and insights about these questions are invaluable. This volume will be of interest to anyone working in moral or political philosophy.' Andrews Reath, University of California

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107113756
    • length: 234 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements
    Introduction
    Note on the references to Kant's works
    Part I. Why Practical Principles Matter:
    1. Modern moral philosophy and the problem of relevant descriptions
    2. Two cultures fifty years on
    3. Scientific inquiry and normative reasoning
    Part II. Abstract Principles and Practical Judgement:
    4. Abstraction, idealisation and ideology
    5. Normativity and practical judgement
    6. Instituting principles: between duty and action
    7. Experts, practitioners and practical judgement
    8. Kant on indeterminacy, judgement and interpretation
    Part III. Means, Ends and Demands:
    9. Reason and the resolution of disputes
    10. Consequences for non-consequentialists
    11. Demandingness and rules
    Part IV. 'Applied' Ethics and Practical Judgement:
    12. Applied ethics: naturalism, normativity and public policy
    13. Practical principles and practical judgement in bioethics
    14. Enactable and enforceable: Kant's criteria for right and virtue
    Index.

  • Author

    Onora O'Neill, University of Cambridge
    Onora O'Neill, Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve, is a former Principal of Newnham College Cambridge, sits as a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords and is Emeritus Honorary Professor at the University of Cambridge. She has published widely on Kant's philosophy and her most recent publications include Constructing Authorities (Cambridge, 2016), and Justice Across Boundaries: Whose Obligations? (Cambridge, 2016).

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