Moral aspirations and ideals

Utilitas 22 (3):241-257 (2010)
My aim is to vindicate two distinct and important moral categories – ideals and aspirations – which have received modest, and sometimes negative, attention in recent normative debates. An ideal is a conception of perfection or model of excellence around which we can shape our thoughts and actions. An aspiration, by contrast, is an attitudinal position of steadfast commitment to, striving for, or deep desire or longing for, an ideal. I locate these two concepts in relation to more familiar moral concepts such as duty, virtue, and the good to demonstrate, amongst other things, first, that what is morally significant about ideals and aspirations cannot be fully accommodated within a virtue ethical framework that gives a central role to the Virtuous Person as a purported model of excellence. On a certain interpretation, the Virtuous Person is not a meaningful ideal formoral agents. Second, I articulate one sense in which aspirations are morally required imaginative acts given their potential to expand the realm of practical moral possibility.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    View all 9 references

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    56 ( #23,385 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.