Can Morality Do Without Prudence?

Philosophia 39 (2):311-326 (2011)
Abstract
This paper argues that morality depends on prudence, or more specifically, that one cannot be a moral person without being prudent. Ethicists are unaware of this, ignore it, or imply it is wrong. Although this thesis is not obvious from the current perspective of ethics, I believe that its several implications for ethics make it worth examining. In this paper I argue for the prudence dependency thesis by isolating moral practice from all reliance on prudence. The result is that in the actual world in which we live one cannot be moral unless one is prudent. In order to show that morality depends on prudence for the entire range of moral situations, we put prudence to the test against the most extraordinary of moral situations: moral dilemmas. Doing so shows that for all practical purposes moral dilemmas are prudential problems for agents, giving further support to the prudence dependency thesis
Keywords Prudence  Morality  Prudence dependence  Moral dilemmas  Moral situations
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    References found in this work BETA
    Roger Crisp (1996). The Dualism of Practical Reason. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 96:53 - 73.
    William E. Davie (1973). Being Prudent and Acting Prudently. American Philosophical Quarterly 10 (1):57 - 60.
    Lara Denis (1997). Kant's Ethics and Duties to Oneself. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (4):321–348.

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