Administrative Imaginaries and Intergenerational Ethics



Morality, Alasdair McIntyre has suggested, always presupposes a sociology, an implicit interpretation of how society is constituted and structured, and with it conceptions of the social constraints that mould the subjectivity — the agentive capacities and cognitive-psychological make-up — of those who belong to it. Margaret Urban Walker has suggested that, when examining a moral theory, ‘we need to ask what actual community of moral responsibility does this representation of moral thinking purport to represent? Who does it actually represent? What communicative strategies does it support? Who will be in a position (concretely, socially) to deploy these strategies?’ (1989, p. 24). For both commentators, moral stances reflect particular unquestioned assumptions about the social world and its inhabitants. Philosophical explorations of the consistency of moral intuitions and of moral theories generally also reflect assumptions of this kind — even if, in the construction of theories, intuitions are subjected to critical scrutiny. ‘In this sense every form of ethics also contains a metaethics, or a system of presuppositions (whether or not these are made explicit) about how moral judgement can best be orchestrated’ (Sevenhuijsen 1998, p. 55).


Moral Theory Distributive Scheme Moral Intuition Primary Good Comprehensive Doctrine 
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Copyright information

© Christopher Groves 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social SciencesCardiff UniversityUK

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