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A Sceptical Theory of Morality and Law


James Allan

A Sceptical Theory of Morality and Law aims ultimately to cast light on some contentious issues in the philosophy of law, including the nature of rights and of judicial interpretation. The answers one gives, however, rest on the moral theory one finds most convincing. The first part of this book gives a sustained defence of a sceptical moral theory owing much to the views of David Hume. That version of scepticism is then relied upon in the author's discussion of law and legal theory.


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Table of Contents


Preface IX Introduction PART A -A CASE FOR MORAL SCEPTICISM 7 Chapter One: The Deflation of Reason 9 a) The Ambit of Reason According to Hume (p.9) b) Reason Alone Cannot Move Action (p.l3) c) Hume's Position Considered for the First Time (p.l8) d) A Transcendental Reply Considered (that yes, reason alone can move action) (p.25) e) A Summary (p.32) Chapter Two: Reason and Morality 3 7 a) Hume's Position Considered for the Second Time (p.39) b) An Enriched, Moral Reason? A Different Reality (p.44) c) Reason and Utilitarianism (p.50) d) A Summary (p.53) Chapter Three: Defending the View that Moral Distinctions are Projected, Subjective Sentiments 55 a) Hume's Position Considered for the Third Time (p.55) b) Moral Scepticism and the Meaning of Moral Statements (p.61) c) Whence Duty? (p.78) d) The Secondary Qualities Analogy (p.80) e) A Summary (p.84) Chapter Four: A Sceptic's View of Sympathy and Virtue 87 a) Hume's Position Considered for the Fourth Time (p.88) b) Sympathy (p.91) c) Virtue (p.95) Chapter Five: The Making of an Interpersonal System of Constraints on Action 9 7 a) Justice (p.97) b) How and Why Might the Passage to Justice Take Place? (p.IOI) c) Why Approve of Just Acts? (p.l 09) d) Hume's Position Considered for the Fifth Time (p.lll) e) The Search for a Disinterested Perspective (p.l20) f) A Summary (p.l30) Vlll Chapter Six: Ramifications and Reckonings 13 3 a) The Good Life v. the Moral Life (p.l33) b) The Free-Rider Problem (p.J38) c) The Need for Standards...

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