The book opens with the suggestion that a fundamental question in philosophical normative ethics concerns what each of us has reason to do. That leads one immediately into the issue of whether we have moral reasons to act, in the sense of ultimate or non-derivative reasons the correct description of which makes ineliminable use of the moral concepts: right, wrong, good, bad, virtuous, kind, cruel, and so on. This chapter draws an analogy between morality and law as social phenomena, and argues that there is a strong case for thinking that morality in itself provides no such reasons, though there may well be derivative reasons for doing what some actual morality or other prescribes. If this is right, then the correct theory of reasons for action should be stated without using the moral concepts.
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