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Moral obligations and social expectations: a humean reduction

Jones, William Thomas (1984) Moral obligations and social expectations: a humean reduction. Humanities Working Paper, 100. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA.

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In this paper I shall argue that an account can be given of the sense of duty without reference to such specifically philosophical notions as "moral law," "moral rule," "moral principle," and "moral intuition." By shifting out of this vocabulary into talk about social roles, role expectations, and role modulations, attention is directed away from an attempt to justify people's moral judgments by demonstrating their consistency with those principles--an attempt that is likely, in view of the immense diversity of these judgments, to be unsuccessful and to have, at best, only an intellectual interest -- and turned in a direction that, more modestly, concentrates on the kind of small-scale theory that helps us understand a little better how moral attitudes, moral judgments and moral changes occur.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Additional Information:I am much indebted to the following friends and colleagues for comments on earlier drafts of this paper: Burton H. Klein, Bruce E. Cain, Edward Green, James McGilvray, Alan Schwartz, Robert M. Stewart, Peter Westen, and Charles Young.
Group:Humanities Working Papers
Series Name:Humanities Working Paper
Issue or Number:100
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100105-135034898
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Official Citation:Jones, W.T. Moral obligations and social expectations: a humean reduction. Pasadena, CA: California Institute of Technology, 1984. Humanities Working Paper, No. 100.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17065
Deposited By: Lindsay Cleary
Deposited On:06 Jan 2010 17:09
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 01:22

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