Unreasonable Action

Henry Sidgwick

in Essays on Ethics and Method

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250234
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598432 | DOI:

Series: British Moral Philosophers

 Unreasonable Action

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Here Sidgwick examines the nature of unreasonable action, that is, action (or inaction) that is contrary to reason or the subjective practical judgment of the agent. He undertakes his discussion from a psychological as opposed to an ethical standpoint, seeking to pin down the nature of the mental process involved in unreasonable action by a sane person in apparently normal conditions. Sidgwick notes that, on the one hand, an action may oppose the individual's moral sentiment without being unreasonable, and, on the other hand, it may be unreasonable and yet align with her moral sentiments about what ought to be done.

Keywords: mental process; moral sentiments; ought; practical judgment; psychology; reason; Sidgwick; unreasonable action

Chapter.  6170 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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