Ethical Concepts ‘in Search of a Meaning: G.H. von Wright’s Broad Framework for (Contextual) Ethics

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


This article revisits G. H. von Wright’s 1963 proposal of a ‘broad approach to ethics’ and his idea that moral goodness is a non-autonomous form of goodness ‘in search of a meaning’. In von Wright’s view, moral notions are to be examined in a broad framework consisting of various groups of ethically relevant concepts. This framework is described and some connections to Elizabeth Anscombe’s work in the late 1950s are identified. It is argued that von Wright’s broadly construed ethics provides tools for understanding contextual and temporal variation of ‘moral points of view’ and puts traditional ideas concerning the nature of moral philosophy in a new light. However, von Wright failed to draw all the consequences of his own suggestions: accordingly, it is suggested that we have to abandon his view of a philosopher as a ‘moulder’ of concepts for a more context-oriented and elucidative conception of moral philosophy.
TidskriftSATS. Northern European Journal of Philosophy
Sidor (från-till)117–140
Antal sidor24
StatusPublicerad - 30 nov 2020
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 611 Filosofi

Citera det här