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This chapter begins by explaining two widespread attitudes towards the methods of moral philosophy. The first common attitude is that the appropriate method for doing ethics was described by John Rawls when he formulated the reflective equilibrium method. Another common attitude is that moral philosophy has no method – anything goes in ethical theorising as long as the results are significant enough. The chapter then motivates the volume by arguing that these attitudes are not helpful. The reflective equilibrium method has its limits and yet not all ways of proceeding in ethics are equally good. For this reason, I argue that we need to be more aware of the argumentative strategies we employ in ethics. This requires being methodologically reflective and transparent and taking part in the debates about the merits and problems of different methodologies exactly in the way done in the chapters of this volume. The second half of the chapter then provides an outline of the other chapters. Here I focus on clarifying exactly how these chapters contribute to the new discussions about the methods of ethics
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethodology and moral philosophy
EditorsJussi Suikkanen, Antti Kauppinen
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780429452284
ISBN (Print)9781138322097, 1138322091
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2018


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