The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 1, 1999


Stuart Rosenbaum
Pages 29-40

Moral Theory and the Reflective Life

In what follows I want to endorse and to reinforce what seems to me a pragmatic, and more specifically a Deweyan, account of the dim prospects for traditional moral theory. I want further to describe a role for moral philosophy that accepts the demise of moral theory, a role exemplified by Dewey himself in his insistence on the place of intelligence and reflection in a satisfactory life. Dewey’s insistence on intelligence and reflection in the good life gives rise to a large–scale moral ideal, the ideal of the reflective life; I describe that ideal and contrast it with some others.