Some Complex Moral Ideas

James Griffin

in Value Judgement

Published in print January 1998 | ISBN: 9780198752318
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597541 | DOI:
 Some Complex Moral Ideas

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Turns to more complex moral norms than the ‘simple’ ones discussed in Ch. 5: e.g. the prohibition ‘Don’t deliberately kill the innocent’ and the injunction ‘save more people's lives rather than fewer’. Some morality consists ultimately of various independent moral norms; or is there some system behind this variety? The chapter expresses doubts about three major systematic traditions in ethics: utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. It ends with the proposal of a less systematic alternative, one that takes seriously the limits of human motivation and knowledge, along with the demand that ethics be effective in society, and constrains the content of moral norms and the extent of the system.

Keywords: deontology; moral norms; utilitarianism; virtue ethics

Chapter.  10673 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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