Thinking About Reasons: Themes from the Philosophy of Jonathan Dancy

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David Bakhurst, Margaret Olivia Little, Brad Hooker
OUP Oxford, 2013 - Philosophy - 349 pages
Thinking about Reasons is a collection of fourteen new essays on topics in ethics and the philosophy of action, inspired in one way or another by the work of Jonathan Dancy—one of his generation's most influential moral philosophers. Many of the most influential living thinkers in the area are contributors to this collection, which also contains an autobiographical afterword by Dancy himself. Topics discussed in this volume include: the idea that the facts that explain action are non-psychological ones buck passing theories of goodness and rightness the idea that some moral reasons justify action without requiring it the particularist idea that there are no true informative moral principles the idea that egoism and impartial consequentialism are self-defeating the idea that moral reasons are dependent on either impersonal value, or benefits to oneself, or benefits to those with whom one has some special connection, but not on deontological constraints the idea that we must distinguish between reasons and enablers, disablers, intensifiers, and attenuators of reasons the idea that, although the lived ethical life is shaped by standing commitments, uncodifable judgement is at least sometimes needed to resolve what to do when these commitments conflict the idea that the value of a whole need not be a mathematical function of the values of the parts of that whole the idea that practical reasoning is based on inference the idea that there cannot be irreducibly normative properties.

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1 Acting in the Light of a Fact
2 Can Action Explanations Ever Be NonFactive?
3 The Ideal of Orthonomous Action or the How and Why of BuckPassing
4 Dancy on BuckPassing
5 Are Egoism and Consequentialism SelfRefuting?
6 In Defence of NonDeontic Reasons
7 The Deontic Structure of Morality
Ethical Not Metaphysical?
10 A Quietist Particularism
11 Contours of the Practical Landscape
12 Why Holists Should Love Organic Unities
13 Practical Reasoning and Inference
14 Why There Really Are No Irreducibly Normative Properties

8 Morality and Principle

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About the author (2013)

Over the last 40 years, Jonathan Dancy has become one of his generation's most influential moral philosophers. He has authored five books and edited or co-edited five others. His work has shaped developments in metaethics, normative ethics, and the philosophy of action. In this volume, an internationally-renowned cast of contributors get to grips with these developments. In the course of his distinguished career, Dancy has held permanent posts at Keele, Reading, and Texas, and visiting appointments at a number of universities, including Pittsburgh and Oxford.

David Bakhurst is John and Ella G. Charlton Professor of Philosophy at Queen's University, Canada. He is the author of Consciousness and Revolution in Soviet Philosophy (CUP, 1991) and The Formation of Reason (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), and co-editor of The Social Self (with Christine Sypnowich; Sage, 1995) and Jerome Bruner: Language, Culture, Self (with Stuart Shanker; Sage, 2001).

Brad Hooker is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading. He is the author of Ideal Code, Real World (OUP, 2000), and editor of Developing Deontology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012); Truth in Ethics (Blackwell, 1996); and Rationality, Rules, and Utility: New Essays on the Moral Philosophy of Richard Brandt (Westview Press, 1993). He has also co-edited several volumes, including Moral Particularism (with Margaret Olivia Little; OUP, 2000) and Well-Being and Morality: Essays in Honour of James Griffin (with Roger Crisp; OUP, 2000).

Margaret Olivia Little is Director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. She is co-editor of Moral Particularism (with Brad Hooker; OUP, 2000).

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