A defense of acting from duty

Journal of Value Inquiry 32 (1):61–74 (1998)
Abstract
Philosophers who, in the light of these attacks, have attempted to vindicate the motive of duty have done so in a half-hearted way, by stressing the motive of duty’s function as a secondary or limiting motivation, or by denying “that acting from duty primarily concerns isolated actions.” I will defend duty as a primary motive with respect to isolated actions. Critics of acting from duty and philosophers who have attempted to respond to them have done little work spelling out exactly what it is for an agent to act from duty. To act explicitly on moral principle is to act from a type of concern for persons that is no less morally good than concern expressed in direct emotional responses. Concern mediated by moral principles is, in certain ways, morally superior to that expressed in direct emotional responses, even when the object of concern is an intimate such as a friend or loved one
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C. D. Meyers (2008). The Virtue of Cold-Heartedness. Philosophical Studies 138 (2):233 - 244.
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