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Morality and Social Criticism

The Force of Reasons in Discursive Practice

Authors: Amesbury, R.

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About this book

In this book, Richard Amesbury brings recent developments in Anglo-American philosophy into engagement with dominant currents in contemporary European social theory in order to articulate a pragmatic account of moral criticism. Presented in a lively and accessible style that avoids technical jargon, Morality and Social Criticism argues that the objectivity of moral discourse can be preserved without recourse to the overweening philosophical ambitions of the Enlightenment.

About the authors

Richard Amesbury is Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion, Clemson University.

Reviews

“Richard Amesbury has produced an excellent book ... . Amesbury’s central project is to preserve –- as Rorty’s pragmatism self-admittedly cannot –- the rationality of radical criticism within the spheres of moral, political and religious thought and action. In doing this he finds himself confronting issues that relate quite generally to the nature of rationality and these he takes to be linked inextricably to the philosophy of language and to be fundamentally logical. It is this that gives Amesbury’s book a much wider appeal than that of most books of its size on social philosophy. Its critical momentum is grounded on a conception of rule-following behaviour which gives primacy to normative practices, which in some sense, lie at the roots of human beings’ actions and, thus, of human societies.” (Guy Stock, Philosophical Investigations, Vol. 31 (4), 2008)

“Amesbury ... provides a solid reconstruction of recent attempts in continental philosophy to theorize in a nonfoundational way about the status and function of social norms. He takes a middle ground between the strongly universalizing theory of discourse ethics (Habermas) and the rejection of universality represented by deconstruction (Derrida and to some extent Rorty). Norms are thus neither platonically ahistorical nor mere contingent posits. With the help of Robert Brandom's recent pragmatic account of norms, Amesbury argues that they are implicit in practices; the philosophical task is simply to make them explicit. Thus he avoids the regress of norms found in a position he calls "regulism." But he does think that no ethical reasoning can be done without a backdrop of certain moral commitments about which "doubts do not ordinarily arise." This is the key assumption of his "ordinary realism." The hope is that such a realist model of reasoning about norms can lend strong support to critique of problematic norms in a society. The book is accessible to those who have a modicum of background in contemporary continental ethics, but experts will garner much from it as well.” (James C. Swindal, Choice, Vol. 43 (5), 2006)



Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)
  • Solidarity and Dissent: Rorty and the “Consequences of Pragmatism”

    Pages 1-19

    Amesbury, Richard

  • The Force of Reasons: Habermas on Norms and Justification

    Pages 20-45

    Amesbury, Richard

  • Norms, Interpretation, and Decision-Making: Derrida on Justice

    Pages 46-64

    Amesbury, Richard

  • Norms and Normativity: Between Regulism and Regularism

    Pages 65-85

    Amesbury, Richard

  • “In the Beginning was the Deed”: The Ungrounded Grounds of Rational Criticism

    Pages 86-116

    Amesbury, Richard

Buy this book

eBook $99.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-0-230-50795-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $125.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-1-4039-3822-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
Softcover $120.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-1-349-51925-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • This title is currently reprinting. You can pre-order your copy now.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Morality and Social Criticism
Book Subtitle
The Force of Reasons in Discursive Practice
Authors
Copyright
2005
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited
eBook ISBN
978-0-230-50795-1
DOI
10.1057/9780230507951
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4039-3822-0
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-51925-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 214
Topics