David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (1):69 - 87 (2007)
When a person gives up an end of crucial importance to her in order to promote a moral aim, we regard her as having made a moral sacrifice. The paper analyzes these sacrifices in light of some of Bernard Williams’ objections to Kantian and Utilitarian accounts of them. Williams argues that an implausible consequence of these theories is that that we are expected to sacrifice projects that make our lives worth living and contribute to our integrity. Williams’ arguments about integrity and meaning are shown to be unconvincing when the content of projects is left open. However, a look at his later arguments suggests a reason to be concerned about defensible ethical projects as understood through what he refers to as “the morality system”. The problem for theories of this type turns out to be not merely conflicts between ethical projects and moral demands but making sense of some of the ethically relevant features of these projects. Accommodations to moral theories that leave room for ethical projects may be insufficient to explain such features, for example in cases where agents demand more of themselves than the theories require. Making the theories more demanding is also problematic. Williams’ view about the role ethics plays in our conception of the life we want to lead provides a better account of these cases.
|Keywords||Williams Kantian Ethics Utilitarianism Meaning of life Supererogation Demandingness Integrity|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Christine M. Korsgaard (1996). The Sources of Normativity. Cambridge University Press.
Bernard Arthur Owen Williams (1985). Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. Harvard University Press.
Bernard Arthur Owen Williams (1981). Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers, 1973-1980. Cambridge University Press.
Christine M. Korsgaard (1996). Creating the Kingdom of Ends. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Greg Scherkoske (2013). Whither Integrity II: Integrity and Impartial Morality. Philosophy Compass 8 (1):40-52.
Jill Hernandez (2013). The Integrity Objection, Reloaded. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (2):145-162.
Similar books and articles
Nader Shoaibi (2010). In Defense of Kantian Moral Theory. California Undergraduate Philosophy Review 3 (1).
Dana K. Nelkin (forthcoming). Moral Luck. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Natalja Deng (2010). 'Beyond A- and B-Time' Reconsidered. Philosophia 38 (4):741-753.
Salim Kemal (1997). The Need for Plans, Projects and Reasoning About Ends: Kant and Williams. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 5 (2):187 – 215.
Robert B. Louden (1992). Morality and Moral Theory: A Reappraisal and Reaffirmation. Oxford University Press.
Timothy Chappell (2007). Integrity and Demandingness. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (3):255 - 265.
J. E. J. Altham & Ross Harrison (eds.) (1995). World, Mind, and Ethics: Essays on the Ethical Philosophy of Bernard Williams. Cambridge University Press.
Joseph Okumu (2007). Personal Identity, Projects, and Morality in Bernard Williams' Earlier Writings. Ethical Perspectives 14 (1):13-27.
John Cottingham (2010). Integrity and Fragmentation. Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (1):2-14.
Lisa Rivera (2010). Worthy Lives. Social Theory and Practice 32 (2):185-212.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads39 ( #84,479 of 1,725,867 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #268,283 of 1,725,867 )
How can I increase my downloads?