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Chapter 7 - Self-Organizing Moral Systems

Beyond Social Contract Theory

from Part II - Diverse Public Reason

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 October 2022

Kevin Vallier
Affiliation:
Bowling Green State University, Ohio
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Summary

Contemporary moral and political philosophy is torn between two modes of moral reasoning. A common view of moral thinking – perhaps most characteristic of moral philosophy – understands reasoning about moral claims to be, in a fundamental sense, akin to reasoning about ordinary factual claims. On this commonsense approach, when Alf deliberates about a moral claim or demand (say, that people ought to respect property), he considers the best reasons as he understands them for and against the claim, including what he takes to be the correct normative principles, perhaps checks his conclusions with others to see if he has made any errors, and then comes to the conclusion, ‘we all ought to respect property’. His moral reasoning may refer to facts about other people (say, their welfare), but it is not a general requirement on the moral reasoning of any competent agent that he always takes as one of his inputs the moral deliberations of others.

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Chapter
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Public Reason and Diversity
Reinterpretations of Liberalism
, pp. 202 - 236
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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