Morality and the Practical

Michael Slote

in Morals from Motives

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780195138375
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833696 | DOI:
Morality and the Practical

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Is an agent‐based sentimentalist virtue ethics of caring or benevolence sufficiently action‐guiding, given the focus on the inner life rather than external factors? The answer is that such forms of ethics are not meant to be practical in this sense, because a focus on what is right or obligatory takes the agent away from a praiseworthy focus on the good of other individuals. The ideal agent is deeply connected with and directly concerned about the welfare of others, and such a person does not conscientiously worry about whether he or she is acting rightly or virtuously. This conclusion allows us to understand moral growth and moral conflict – though in a way different from the way in which the Kantian tradition, with its emphasis on conscientiousness, does.

Keywords: action‐guiding; agent‐based; connected; conscientiousness; Kantian; practical; virtue ethics

Chapter.  10408 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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