Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5):539-553 (2008)

Abstract
In this paper I discuss the viability of the claim that at least some forms of moral theory are harmful for sound moral thought and practice. This claim was put forward by e.g. Elisabeth Anscombe ( 1981 ( 1958 )) and by Annette Baier, Peter Winch, D.Z Phillips and Bernard Williams in the 1970’s–1980’s. To this day aspects of it have found resonance in both post-Wittgensteinian and virtue ethical quarters. The criticism has on one hand contributed to a substantial change and broadening of the scope of analytic moral philosophy. On the other hand it is, at least in its most strongly anti-theoretical formulations, now broadly considered outdated and—to the extent that it is still defended—insensitive to the changes that have occurred within the field in the last 20–30 years. The task of this paper is to relocate the anti-theoretical critique into the field of analytic ethics today.
Keywords Philosophy   Ontology   Political Philosophy   Ethics
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-008-9141-7
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References found in this work BETA

After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1983 - University of Notre Dame Press.
Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy.Bernard Williams - 1985 - Harvard University Press.
Ethics Without Principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Whence the Demand for Ethical Theory?Damian Cueni & Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - American Philosophical Quarterly 58 (2):135–46.
How We Decide in Moral Situations.David Kaspar - 2015 - Philosophy 90 (1):59-81.
Reflection and the Individual in Williams’ Humanistic Philosophy.Lorenzo Greco - 2013 - In Alexandra Perry & Chris Herrera (eds.), The Moral Philosophy of Bernard Williams. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 26-39.

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