Morality Critics

Brian Leiter

in The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199234097
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:


 Morality Critics

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One striking feature of post-Kantian philosophy in Europe has been the emergence of morality critics, philosophers who, contra the popular consensus, dispute the value of morality and the moral life. Their views find a faint echo in the work of some Anglophone moral philosophers (Philippa Foot and Bernard Williams are the main exemplars), but, this article shows, the ‘Continental’ criticisms of morality generally cut far deeper and more radically. This article sketches the broad contours of the two strands of Continental Morality Criticism, turning in the concluding section to a critical consideration of the plausibility and prospects of these lines of critique of morality. Continental Morality Critics (or at least some of them) pose a far more serious and worrisome challenge to morality than their Anglophone counterparts, this article argues, one that demands attention in an era when the boundaries between philosophy and the empirical sciences are, happily, increasingly blurred.

Keywords: post-Kantian philosophy; morality critics; morality; moral life; empirical sciences

Article.  19124 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Social and Political Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy

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