Assessment, Deliberation, and Theory

Samuel Scheffler

in Human Morality

Published in print January 1994 | ISBN: 9780195085648
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833634 | DOI:
Assessment, Deliberation, and Theory

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The general argument of the previous chapter is here supplemented by a fuller discussion of the relationship between the moral assessment of action and agents’ deliberations about what to do. Scheffler begins by distinguishing between five different ways in which overtly moral considerations may impinge on an agent's deliberations, and he observes that no general rule tells us when moral considerations should function in these different ways. In light of this discussion, he rejects the idea that, in formulating a moral assessment of a person's action, we commit ourselves to thinking that the person himself should deliberate in explicitly moral terms. Accordingly, he argues, we need not worry that the pervasiveness of morality implies an overmoralized conception of deliberation or of the self.For similar reasons, Scheffler rejects a family of views that object to the very idea of a moral theory, understood as a system of general principles that can be combined with information about specific circumstances to yield moral verdicts.

Keywords: assessment; deliberation; moral consideration; moral theory; morality; pervasive

Chapter.  10606 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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