Morality, Authority, and Law: Essays in Second-Personal Ethics I

Paperback | April 5, 2013

byStephen Darwall

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Stephen Darwall presents a series of essays that explore the view that central moral concepts are irreducibly second-personal, in that they entail mutual accountability and the authority to address demands. He illustrates the power of the second-personal framework to illuminate a wide varietyof issues in moral, political, and legal philosophy. Section I concerns morality: its distinctiveness among normative concepts; the metaethics of "bipolar obligations" (owed to someone); the relation between moral obligation's form and the substance of our obligations; whether the fact that an action is wrong is itself a reason against action (asopposed to simply entailing that sufficient moral reasons independently exist); and whether morality requires general principles or might be irreducibly particularistic. Section II consists of two essays on autonomy: one discussing the relation between Kant's "autonomy of the will" and the right to autonomy, and another arguing that what makes an agent's desires and will reason giving is not the basis of "internal" practical reasons in desire, but the dignity ofpersons and shared second-personal authority. Section III focuses on the nature of authority and the law. Two essays take up Joseph Raz's influential "normal justification thesis" and argue that it fails to capture authority's second-personal nature, without which authority cannot create "exclusionary" and "preemptive" reasons. The final twoessays concern law. The first sketches the insights that a second-personal approach can provide into the nature of law and the grounds of distinctions between different parts of law. The second shows how a second-personal framework can be used to develop the "civil recourse theory" in the law oftorts.

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Stephen Darwall presents a series of essays that explore the view that central moral concepts are irreducibly second-personal, in that they entail mutual accountability and the authority to address demands. He illustrates the power of the second-personal framework to illuminate a wide varietyof issues in moral, political, and legal phi...

Stephen Darwall is Andrew Downey Orrick Professor of Philosophy at Yale University and John Dewey Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan. He has written widely on the history and foundations of ethics. His most important books include: Impartial Reason (1983), The British Moralists and the Internal 'O...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:April 5, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199662592

ISBN - 13:9780199662593

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Table of Contents

IntroductionI: Morality1. Morality's Distinctiveness2. Bipolar Obligation3. Moral Obligation: Form and Substance4. 'But It Would Be Wrong'5. Morality and PrincipleII: Autonomy6. Because I Want It7. The Value of Autonomy and Autonomy of the WillIII: Authority and Law8. Authority and Second-Personal Reasons for Acting9. Authority and Reasons: Exclusionary and Second Personal10. Law and the Second-Person Standpoint11. Civil Recourse as Mutual Accountability (co-authored with Julian Darwall)Works CitedIndex