Is "Why Be Moral?" A Pseudo-Question?: Hospers and Thornton on the Amoralist's Challenge

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (4):549-66 (2006)
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Abstract

Many arguments have been advanced for the view that "Why be moral?" is a pseudo-question. In this paper I address one of the most widely known and influential of them, one that comes from John Hospers and J. C. Thornton. I do so partly because, strangely, an important phase of that argument has escaped close attention. It warrants such attention because, firstly, not only is it important to the argument in which it appears, it is important in wider respects. For instance, if it is sound it has weighty consequences even if the argument in which it figures fails. Secondly, it is not sound; it succumbs to a simple objection.

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John J. Tilley
Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

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