A Phenomenological Approach with Ontological Implications? Charles Taylor and Maurice Mandelbaum on Explanation in Ethics

This paper critically discusses Charles Taylor’s ethical views in his little known paper “Ethics and Ontology” (J Philos 100 (6): 305-320, 2003) by confronting it with the moral phenomenology of Maurice Mandelbaum, as laid out in his (largely neglected) The Phenomenology of Moral Experience (1955)....

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Ethical theory and moral practice
Main Author: Meijer, Michiel 1984-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Springer Science + Business Media B. V [2017]
In: Ethical theory and moral practice
Year: 2017, Volume: 20, Issue: 5, Pages: 977-991
IxTheo Classification:NCA Ethics
TK Recent history
VA Philosophy
Further subjects:B Charles Taylor
B Ethics
B Maurice Mandelbaum
B Ontology
B Moral phenomenology
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
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Summary:This paper critically discusses Charles Taylor’s ethical views in his little known paper “Ethics and Ontology” (J Philos 100 (6): 305-320, 2003) by confronting it with the moral phenomenology of Maurice Mandelbaum, as laid out in his (largely neglected) The Phenomenology of Moral Experience (1955). The aim of the paper is to explore the significance of Taylor’s views for the dispute between naturalists, non-naturalists, and quietists in contemporary metaethics. It is divided in six sections. In the first section, I examine Taylor’s critique of naturalism. I continue to discuss his moral phenomenology in more detail in the second and third sections, arguing that Taylor’s move from phenomenology to ontology is problematic. In the fourth section, I evaluate Taylor’s strategy by comparing it with Mandelbaum’s understanding of moral phenomenology, while also extending this comparison to the issue of how to locate the source of moral experience in the fifth section. Based on these discussions, I finally conclude in the sixth section that Taylor’s hermeneutical position, although ontologically incomplete and underdemonstrated, draws attention to a question to which current moral theory does not adequately respond.
ISSN:1572-8447
Contains:Enthalten in: Ethical theory and moral practice
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1007/s10677-017-9837-7