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Morality and Our Complicated Form of Life : Feminist Wittgensteinian Metaethics - Peg O'Connor

Morality and Our Complicated Form of Life

Feminist Wittgensteinian Metaethics

Hardcover Published: 1st October 2008
ISBN: 9780271033792
Number Of Pages: 192

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Moral philosophy, like much of philosophy generally, has been bedeviled by an obsession with seeking a secure epistemological foundation and with dichotomies between mind and body, fact and value, subjectivity and objectivity, nature and normativity. These are still alive today in the realism versus antirealism debates in ethics. Peg O'Connor draws inspiration from the later Wittgenstein's philosophy to sidestep these pitfalls and develop a new approach to the grounding of ethics (i.e., metaethics) that looks to the interconnected nature of social practices, most especially those linguistic practices that Wittgenstein called "language games," as providing structure and stability to our moral lives while they permit the flexibility to accommodate change in moral understandings and attitudes. To this end, O'Connor deploys new metaphors from architecture and knitting to describe her approach as "felted stabilism," an anthropological naturalism that locates morality in a targe set of overlapping and crisscrossing language games such as engaging in moral inquiry, seeking justifications for our beliefs and actions, formulating reasons for actions, making judgments, disagreeing with other people or dissenting from dominant norms, manifesting moral understandings, and taking and assigning responsibility.

Industry Reviews

"In a field that remains paralyzed by whether there exist objective moral values, O'Connor's work offers a breath of fresh air."

-Wendy L. Lee, Bloomsburg University


"This is an exciting and important book."

-Alessandra Tanesini, Cardiff University


"Peg O'Connor offers a compelling Wittgensteinian alternative to the realist-versus-antirealist debates in metaethics. Grounded in `deep conventionalism,' she argues that `our world is not one part natural and one part social, but rather is a shared world where these are intermingled and tangled, resulting in ways of acting and conventions that are inescapably bound together.' In a field that remains paralyzed by whether there exist objective moral values, O'Connor's work offers a breath of fresh air."

-Wendy L. Lee, Bloomsburg University


"In this original work O'Connor develops a genuinely novel approach to metaethics. O'Connor's views are radical, since she replaces both realism and antirealism with a Wittgensteinian approach that firmly relocates metaethics within the context of practical ongoing moral concerns. This is an exciting and important book."

-Alessandra Tanesini, Cardiff University

Prolegomenon to Any Future Feminist Metaethics
Feminist Wittgensteinian Metaethics? Revising the Big Bookp. 1
Does the Fabric of the World Include Moral Properties? Realist/Antirealist Debatesp. 23
Neither a Realist nor an Antirealist Bep. 43
Felted Contextualism: Heterogeneous Stabilityp. 61
Normativity and Grammarp. 89
Philosophical Rags and Mice: Changing the Subject in Moral Epistemologyp. 113
Stability and Objectivity: The Felted Worldp. 137
Bibliographyp. 169
Indexp. 173
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780271033792
ISBN-10: 0271033797
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 1st October 2008
Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 1.1
Weight (kg): 0.41

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