Chapter

Introductory Themes

Samuel Scheffler

in Human Morality

Published in print January 1994 | ISBN: 9780195085648
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833634 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195085647.003.0001
Introductory Themes

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Sketches a view of the relationship between the interests of the individual and the demands of morality, a view according to which morality and self‐interest stand in a relation of potential congruence. In adopting this view, Scheffler rejects two extreme positions, one that sees morality and self‐interest as ultimately coinciding and another that sees them as diametrically opposed. The complete exposition of Scheffler's view is left for subsequent chapters, but in this introduction he proposes that a proper treatment of the relationship between morality and self‐interest, which must address morality's authority, content, scope, and deliberative role. Scheffler also situates his view in relation to the debate between defenders of contemporary moral theories, such as Kantian and utilitarian outlooks, and critics who claim that these positions neglect important ethical notions, such as virtue. Though he notes certain affinities between his view and the views of the critics, Scheffler denies that the defects in modern moral thought warrant its repudiation in favor of an ethics of virtue.

Keywords: authority; congruence; individual; Kant; Kantianism; morality; self‐interest; utilitarianism; virtue

Chapter.  5990 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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