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Social Sciences - Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility | From Reasons to Norms - On the Basic Question in Ethics

From Reasons to Norms

On the Basic Question in Ethics

Tännsjö, Torbjörn

2010, XVI, 168 p.

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  • Offers a timely reaction to the "turn to reasons" in moral philosophy
  • Takes the reader back to the basic normative question
  • Defends a realist conception of the ought-question
  • Boldly claims that the only unique question in ethics is: "What ought to be done?"

This book originated from a discussion between the author, Derek Parfit and Wlodek Rabinowicz, and further developed in correspondence and intense discussions with Wlodek Rabinowics and John Broome. The author disputes the recent trend in metaethics that focuses on reasons rather than norms. The reader is invited to take a new look at the traditional metaethical questions of moral semantics, ontology, and epistemology.

The author mainly concerns himself with particular aspects of these problems: Which are the problems of morality? Are there many different moral questions, or, do they all, in the final analysis, reduce to one? The bold claim made in this book is that there is just one: What ought to be done? Moreover, there is just one source of normativity, just one kind of 'ought'-question, which lends itself to an objectively correct and authoritative answer.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Metaethics - Norms - Reasons - ethics - moral judgements - morality - normativity

Related subjects » Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility - Philosophy

Table of contents 

Acknowledgements Preface Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: The Humean Notion of Practical Reasons Chapter 3: The Moral (Normative) Notion of Practical Reasons Chapter 4: In Defense of Moral Realism Chapter 5: Some Consequences of Moral Realism Chapter 6: Reasons from Prudence and Rationality Chapter 7: Reasons from Justice and Aesthetics Chapter 8: Reasons to Believe Chapter 9: Reasons to Desire Chapter 10: Conclusion References Index

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