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Ethical theories and moral guidance

Utilitas 18 (3):291-309 (2006)

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  1. “Ought” Implies “Can” but Does Not Imply “Must”: An Asymmetry Between Becoming Infeasible and Becoming Overridden.Peter B. M. Vranas - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (4):487-514.
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  • Particularism in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (2):121-147.
    In this essay I offer a new particularist reading of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. I argue that the interpretation I present not only helps us to resolve some puzzles about Aristotle’s goals and methods, but it also gives rise to a novel account of morality—an account that is both interesting and plausible in its own right. The goal of this paper is, in part, exegetical—that is, to figure out how to best understand the text of the Nicomachean Ethics. But this paper (...)
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  • Moral Advice and Moral Theory.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 146 (3):349 - 359.
    Monists, pluralists, and particularists disagree about the structure of the best explanation of the rightness (wrongness) of actions. In this paper I argue that the availability of good moral advice gives us reason to prefer particularist theories and pluralist theories to monist theories. First, I identify two distinct roles of moral theorizing—explaining the rightness (wrongness) of actions, and providing moral advice—and I explain how these two roles are related. Next, I explain what monists, pluralists, and particularists disagree about. Finally, I (...)
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  • Ideal Theory and "Ought Implies Can".Amy Berg - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):869-890.
    When we can’t live up to the ultimate standards of morality, how can moral theory give us guidance? We can distinguish between ideal and non-ideal theory to see that there are different versions of the voluntarist constraint, ‘ought implies can.’ Ideal moral theory identifies the best standard, so its demands are constrained by one version. Non-ideal theory tells us what to do given our psychological and motivational shortcomings and so is constrained by others. Moral theory can now both provide an (...)
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  • How Can We Be Moral When We Are so Irrational?Nils-Eric Sahlin & Johan Brännmark - unknown
    Normative ethics usually presupposes background accounts of human agency, and although different ethical theorists might have different pictures of human agency in mind, there is still something like a standard account that most of mainstream normative ethics can be understood to rest on. Ethical theorists tend to have Rational Man, or at least some close relative to him, in mind when constructing normative theories. It will be argued here that empirical findings raise doubts about the accuracy of this kind of (...)
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  • The Value of Practical Usefulness.Rob van Someren Greve - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (1):167-177.
    Some moral theories, such as objective forms of consequentialism, seem to fail to be practically useful: they are of little to no help in trying to decide what to do. Even if we do not think this constitutes a fatal flaw in such theories, we may nonetheless agree that being practically useful does make a moral theory a better theory, or so some have suggested. In this paper, I assess whether the uncontroversial respect in which a moral theory can be (...)
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  • Ethical Theories and the Transparency Condition.Johan Brännmark - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5):449-462.
    Following John Rawls, writers like Bernard Williams and Christine Korsgaard have suggested that a transparency condition should be put on ethical theories. The exact nature of such a condition and its implications is however not anything on which there is any consensus. It is argued here that the ultimate rationale of transparency conditions is epistemic rather than substantively moral, but also that it clearly connects to substantive concerns about moral psychology. Finally, it is argued that once a satisfactory form of (...)
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  • Subjective Rightness.Holly M. Smith - 2010 - Social Philosophy and Policy 27 (2):64-110.
    Twentieth century philosophers introduced the distinction between “objective rightness” and “subjective rightness” to achieve two primary goals. The first goal is to reduce the paradoxical tension between our judgments of (i) what is best for an agent to do in light of the actual circumstances in which she acts and (ii) what is wisest for her to do in light of her mistaken or uncertain beliefs about her circumstances. The second goal is to provide moral guidance to an agent who (...)
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