Husserl Studies

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 67–73 | Cite as

Smith, William Hosmer: The Phenomenology of Moral Normativity

London: Routledge, 2012. (Studies in Ethics and Moral Theory). ISBN 9780415890687, 215 pp. US-$145 (hardbound), US-$55 (electronic); € 133 (hardbound), € 50 (electronic)
  • Anne C. OzarEmail author

ThePhenomenology of Moral Normativity is an engaging and ambitious effort to account for the legitimacy of morality’s claim on us. It is also, as Smith states in the preface, an effort to “place phenomenology in the landscape of contemporary metaethcis, or at least in one corner of that landscape” (p. xiii). The particular corner Smith has in mind is clearly indicated by two important features of his argument. First, we are invited to think of The Phenomenology of Moral Normativity as “a response to the form of moral skepticism embodied in Anscombe’s suspicions concerning moral obligation; in addition, contra Nietzsche, it searches not for an alternative source of psychological comfort, but for a new ground for morality if that ground cannot be God” (p. 4). Framed in this way, the primary task of the book is to account for moral obligation in its character asobligatory; that is, to demonstrate “why the ‘ought’ of moral requirements is legitimate and its authority over other interests...


Moral Obligation Moral Normativity Moral Realism Normative Injunction Transcendental Phenomenology 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OmahaUSA

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