A Simple Moral Thought

James Griffin

in Value Judgement

Published in print January 1998 | ISBN: 9780198752318
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597541 | DOI:
 A Simple Moral Thought

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Focuses on simple moral judgements, one's moral standards that do not go far beyond the prudential values to which they are related. The question whether more complex moral judgements are like them in their epistemic and metaphysical features is left open. The chapter argues that there is no sharp line between prudence and morality or between egoism and altruism: we can neither understand morality independently of prudence, nor live well prudentially independently of living well morally. The chapter looks closely at the relation between the prudential judgement ‘that is painful’ (along with judgements about intentions) and the moral judgement ‘that is cruel’, and concludes that elements of the realism appropriate to the former judgement transfer to the latter.

Keywords: altruism; egoism; moral realism; morality; prudence; value judgement

Chapter.  7172 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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