Utilitarian Moral Virtue, Admiration, and Luck

Philosophia 43 (1):77-95 (2015)
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Abstract

Every tenable ethical theory must have an account of moral virtue and vice. Julia Driver has performed a great service for utilitarians by developing a utilitarian account of moral virtue that complements a broader act-based utilitarian ethical theory. In her view, a moral virtue is a psychological disposition that systematically produces good states of affairs in a particular possible world. My goal is to construct a more plausible version of Driver’s account that nevertheless maintains its basic integrity. I aim to accomplish this goal by developing four problems concerning admiration and luck for Driver’s account. Subsequently, I modify the account in a way that partially or entirely mitigates each difficulty. Finally, I attempt to undermine Driver’s rationale for rejecting the modification and explore how well the modified account of moral virtue fits with utilitarian accounts of right action.

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Robert J. Hartman
Ohio Northern University

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