David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Res Publica 9 (3):223-242 (2003)
In Morals by Agreement, David Gauthier tries to provide a justification of morality from morally neutral premises within the constraints of an instrumental conception of reason. But his reliance on this narrow conception of reason creates problems, for it suggests that moral motivation is self-interested. However, Gauthier holds that to act morally is to act for the sake of morality and others, not oneself. An individual who so acts has what he calls an affective capacity for morality. He attempts to reconcile the tension between the self-interested account of moral behaviour and the affective capacity for morality by showing that the latter could develop from the former without violating the constraints of instrumental rationality. I argue, first, that his account is incomplete and assumes what it has to demonstrate; and, second, that this cannot be remedied with any plausibility. Finally, I argue that Gauthier covertly relies on a substantive claim about human good that is inconsistent with the instrumental conception of reason.
|Keywords||contractarianism contractualism Gauthier instrumental rationality moral motivation|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Peter Vallentyne (1989). Contractarianism and the Assumption of Mutual Unconcern. Philosophical Studies 56 (2):187 - 192.
J. David Velleman (1997). Deciding How to Decide. In Garrett Cullity & Berys Nigel Gaut (eds.), Ethics and Practical Reason. Oxford University Press. 29--52.
Michael Stingl & John Collier (2005). Reasonable Partiality From a Biological Point of View. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (1-2):11 - 24.
Andrews Reath (2010). Contemporary Kantian Ethics. In John Skorupski (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Ethics. Routledge.
Michael Byron (1995). Rationality Is Not Fair. Analysis 55 (4):252 - 260.
David P. Gauthier (1970). Morality and Rational Self-Interest. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,Prentice-Hall.
Joseph Heath (2003). The Transcendental Necessity of Morality. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):378–395.
Peter Vallentyne (1986). Gauthier on Rationality and Morality. Eidso 5 (1):79-95.
Logi Gunnarsson (2000). Making Moral Sense: Beyond Habermas and Gauthier. Cambridge University Press.
David P. Gauthier (1986). Morals by Agreement. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads12 ( #104,666 of 1,006,257 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #64,735 of 1,006,257 )
How can I increase my downloads?