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Ross, William David definitions

Britannica Concise

Scottish moral philosopher. He served many years as provost at Oriel College, Oxford (1902-47) and later as Oxford's vice chancellor. A critic of utilitarianism, he proposed a form of ethical intuitionism. He maintained that "good" (which pertains to motives) and "right" (which pertains to acts) are indefinable and irreducible terms (see naturalistic fallacy) and that certain commonsensical moral principles (e.g., those requiring promise-keeping, truth-telling, and justice) are knowable by mature reflection. His writings include Aristotle (1923), The Right and the Good (1930), Foundations of Ethics (1939), Plato's Theory of Ideas (1951), and Kant's Ethical Theory (1954).



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