The threefold cord: Reconciling strategies in moral theory

Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt2):121-133 (2008)
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Eighteenth-century disputes in moral theory seem to offer an opportunity to scepticism about moral theory and about morality. Twentieth-century theorists have tried to forestall a sceptical argument from disagreement in moral theory to doubts about morality, by appeal to a division between first-order and second-order questions. This division, however, does not answer the sceptical argument. A better reply appears in Butler's treatment of disagreement through his strategies of consensus and comprehension. These strategies are illustrated by his discussion of utilitarianism and of the relation between conscience and self-love.



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