Criticism and Impact
Several years before Reason and Morality was published, articles attacking the ideas that Gewirth was advancing in essays and in lectures were already appearing in scholarly journals. Once the completed work was in print, not only was it widely reviewed but it also was the subject of an amazing number of articles, in which all the elements of Gewirth’s argument were examined and what the authors saw as logical flaws were pointed out. Often Gewirth was provided with an opportunity to respond to his critics, as he did to E. J. Bond in a four-essay series published in 1980 by Metaphilosophy and called a “Symposium on Reason and Morality.” Gewirth’s system, as it was described in Reason and Morality, was also discussed in Gewirth’s Ethical Rationalism: Critical Essays with a Reply by Alan Gewirth, a collection edited by Edward Regis, Jr. (1984). This book and similar publications indicate how much time other scholars were spending on the study of Gewirth’s ideas during the years immediately after publication of Reason and Morality.
Thirteen years after Reason and Morality appeared, it was still the subject of heated debate. In a massive work entitled The Dialectical Necessity of Morality: An Analysis and Defense of Alan Gewirth’s Argument to the Principle of Generic Consistency (1991), Deryck Beyleveld cited dozens of comments by Gewirth’s opponents, classified their attacks on...
(The entire section is 350 words.)
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