Two-Tier Moral Codes

Social Philosophy and Policy 7 (1):112 (1989)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
A moral code consists of principles that assign moral status to individual actions – principles that evaluate acts as right or wrong, prohibited or obligatory, permissible or supererogatory. Many theorists have held that such principles must serve two distinct functions. On the one hand, they serve a theoretical function, insofar as they specify the characteristics in virtue of which acts possess their moral status. On the other hand, they serve a practical function, insofar as they provide an action-guide: a standard by reference to which a person can choose which acts to perform and which not. Although the theoretical and practical functions of moral principles are closely linked, it is not at all obvious that what enables a principle to fill one of these roles automatically equips it to fill the other. In this paper I shall briefly examine some of the reasons why a moral principle might fail to fill its practical role, i.e., be incapable of guiding decisions. I shall then sketch three common responses to this kind of failure, and examine in some detail the adequacy of one of the most popular of these responses
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
SMITMC-2
Revision history
Archival date: 2015-11-21
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Subjective Rightness.Smith, Holly M.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2010-08-31

Total views
140 ( #21,379 of 42,264 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
14 ( #33,031 of 42,264 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.