Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

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)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
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
    Read more

    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

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    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

    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

  • 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).

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.