Darwall, Stephen. Honor, History, & Relationship: Essays in Second-Personal Ethics II

By Lutz, Christopher | The Review of Metaphysics, March 2015 | Go to article overview

Darwall, Stephen. Honor, History, & Relationship: Essays in Second-Personal Ethics II


Lutz, Christopher, The Review of Metaphysics


DARWALL, Stephen. Honor, History, & Relationship: Essays in Second-Personal Ethics II. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 285 pp. Cloth, $99.00; paper, $29.95--This volume comprises eleven previously published journal articles and book chapters. Each essay stands on its own, and small differences in the essays' introductions to "second-personal ethics" complement each other to clarify Darwall's position. The volume offers samples of an approach rather than a thorough treatment of his theory; for that account, Darwall directs his readers to The Second-Person Standpoint: Morality, Respect, and Accountability (Harvard University Press, 2006).

Darwall struggles with a problem in modern moral philosophy. On the one hand, he accepts with Grotius the notion "that morality (natural law) creates 'obligations' whose binding force cannot be reduced to reasons or 'counsels' of any kind." On the other hand, Darwall accepts Anscombe's critique of modern theories of moral law: "a law of any kind necessarily requires a legislator." Like Anscombe, Darwall rejects efforts to justify the moral law either through third-person appeals to abstract moral norms or through first-person self-legislation. For Darwall, the solution to the problem of justifying a secular, nonteleological morality of obligation rests in second-personal relationships of mutual accountability.

According to Darwall, moral obligation arises from the authority each person has as a rational agent to make second-personal demands on another. This authority is reciprocal: in recognizing the other as a rational agent, I acknowledge the authority of the other to make demands on me and, in making demands on the other, I acknowledge the other's capacity to fulfill those demands as a rational agent. Morality arises among the members of moral communities. "Moral obligations, on this conception, are what we have standing as such members to demand of one another and ourselves. Accordingly, when people violate moral obligations and rights, they fail adequately to respect this authority."

The collection has three parts. Chapters one through four introduce the second-personal perspective in ethics as a development of P. F. Strawson's argument in "Freedom and Resentment" (1968) that moral demands are made only within relationships of mutual respect among equals. Chapters five through seven argue that the morality of human relationships is best understood in terms of second-personal ethics. Chapters eight through eleven argue that second-personal ethics can solve problems of justification and interpretation that arise from canonical texts of modern moral philosophy.

Chapter eight stands out as the strongest chapter in the book; it presents the problem that second-person ethics is intended to solve. Here Darwall locates the shift to a secular theory of moral obligation in the work of Hugo Grotius. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Darwall, Stephen. Honor, History, & Relationship: Essays in Second-Personal Ethics II
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.