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Ross, William David (1877–1971)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-L128-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 12, 2024, from

Article Summary

W.D. Ross was a British ancient and moral philosopher. In terms of his moral thinking, he was a pluralist, who held that there are several distinct moral considerations which bear on the rightness of an action. Among the things we need to take into account are promises we have made, the need to avoid harming others, gratitude to benefactors, and the amount of good our action will produce. That these considerations are morally relevant is something we can know, but which action is the right one is a matter of fallible judgment, because that will depend upon how these considerations are to be weighed against each other in the particular case. Ross’ contributions to the study of ancient philosophy mainly concerned Aristotle. He is now best known, however, for his moral philosophy.

Citing this article:
McNaughton, David. Ross, William David (1877–1971), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-L128-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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