Smith, William Hosmer: The Phenomenology of Moral Normativity
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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...
KeywordsMoral Obligation Moral Normativity Moral Realism Normative Injunction Transcendental Phenomenology
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