Published Humanitas, Volume XXVIII, Nos. 1 and 2, 2015

When preparing my remarks for the annual meeting of the Academy of Philosophy and Letters in 2014, it did not occur to me that they might become the basis for a symposium on morality and politics. Although I took the opportunity to make philosophical points and expected them to spark discussion, I was carrying out a tricky dual assignment and did not structure my remarks solely with a view to arguing for a reform in moral philosophy. It was after the speech that others suggested a symposium on the issues that I had raised. I assented to the idea with the mentioned reservations and revised and expanded my manuscript for the new purpose. As I did not play any role in organizing the symposium, the size and philosophical range of the comments on my text took me by surprise. I am flattered that my remarks should have generated such extensive and elaborate discussion but also feel more acutely than before that what I argue in the article is but the tip of a philosophical iceberg. To respond adequately I will need to relate my argument to other writings of mine and make points that I could not go into in my original remarks.

Because the three commentaries are quite different in philosophical emphasis, I will need to deal with them separately for the most part, but whenever possible I will try to frame responses so that they address the concerns of more than one commentator. I should mention that the order in which I take up particular issues is not my way of ranking their importance.
Let me begin by trying to clear away what appear to me to be plain misunderstandings or misrepresentations of my article and/or general philosophical stance, most of which are found in one of the commentaries.

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