Morality, Authority, and Law

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

4 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 8-11 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


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 variety of 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 (as opposed 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 of persons 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 two essays 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 of torts.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 228 pages
  • 157 x 233 x 13mm | 366g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199662592
  • 9780199662593
  • 66,623

Table of contents

Introduction ; I: MORALITY ; 1. Morality's Distinctiveness ; 2. Bipolar Obligation ; 3. Moral Obligation: Form and Substance ; 4. 'But It Would Be Wrong' ; 5. Morality and Principle ; II: AUTONOMY ; 6. Because I Want It ; 7. The Value of Autonomy and Autonomy of the Will ; III: AUTHORITY AND LAW ; 8. Authority and Second-Personal Reasons for Acting ; 9. Authority and Reasons: Exclusionary and Second Personal ; 10. Law and the Second-Person Standpoint ; 11. Civil Recourse as Mutual Accountability (co-authored with Julian Darwall) ; Works Cited ; Index
show more

About Stephen Darwall

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 'Ought': 1640-1740, Philosophical Ethics (1998), Welfare and Rational Care (2002), and The
Second-Person Standpoint (2006). He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and, with David Velleman, founding co-editor of Philosophers' Imprint.
show more

Rating details

6 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 33% (2)
4 33% (2)
3 33% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X