David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Nordic Journal of Philosophical Logic 5 (2):135-159 (2000)
There is little work of a systematic nature in ethical theory or deontic logic on aretaic notions such as praiseworthiness and blameworthiness, despite their centrality to common-sense morality. Without more work, there is little hope of filling the even larger gap of attempting to develop frameworks integrating such aretaic concepts with deontic concepts of common-sense morality, such as what is obligatory, permissible, impermissible, or supererogatory. It is also clear in the case of aretaic concepts that agency is central to such appraisal, so some agential notions must be integrated with aretaic concepts as well. The current paper takes the first step in a larger project aimed at the closure of these gaps. Here I sketch a simple framework for the aretaic appraisal of an agent's performance, layered on top of a simple framework for agency and predetermination. In Part I, I develop the framework for agency, ability, and inevitability, combining elements of work by Brown, Elgesem, Carmo, Santos, and Jones. In Part II, drawing on work by Chisholm and Sosa on intrinsic preferability, I sketch and explore a framework for defining aretaic superiority, praiseworthiness, blameworthiness, neutrality, and indifference, etc., retaining proper links to agency
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