Cascading Morality After Dewey: A Proposal for a Pluralist Meta-Ethics with a Subsidiarity Hierarchy

Contemporary Pragmatism 18 (1):18-35 (2021)
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In response to challenges to moral philosophy presented by other disciplines and facing a diversity of approaches to the foundation and focus of morality, this paper argues for a pluralist meta-ethics that is methodologically hierarchical and guided by the principle of subsidiarity. Inspired by Deweyan pragmatism, this novel and original application of the subsidiarity principle and the related methodological proposal for a cascading meta-ethical architecture offer a “dirty” and instrumentalist understanding of meta-ethics that promises to work, not only in moral philosophy but also in the (rest of the) real world, and that facilitates collaboration with other disciplines outside moral philosophy.

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Mark Coeckelbergh
University of Vienna


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