Gauthier and the capacity for morality

Res Publica 9 (3):223-242 (2003)
Abstract
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)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,351
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    12 ( #106,398 of 1,088,384 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,384 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.