Moral theory and its role in everyday moral thought and action

In Aaron Zimmerman, Karen Jones & Mark Timmons (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Moral Epistemology. New York: Routledge. pp. 387-400 (2018)
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This paper starts by characterising moral requirements and everyday thought. Then ways in which moral requirements shape everyday thought are identified, including the way internalised moral requirements prevent some possible actions from even being considered. The paper then explains that everyday moral thought might be structured by dispositions to which there are corresponding principles even if these principles do not usually appear in the conscious thoughts of agents while they are engaged in everyday moral decision-making. Nevertheless, especially when conflicts between moral considerations arise, alternative possible resolutions are typically framed in terms of principles. The paper pushes on to discuss how everyday moral thought is pushed to consider principles, engage in moral theorising, and even consider abstract moral theories.

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Brad Hooker
University of Reading


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