David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Ethics 4 (3):191-209 (2000)
My purpose in this paper is to argue that we are not vulnerableto inescapable wrongdoing occasioned by tragic dilemmas. I directmy argument to those who are most inclined to accept tragicdilemmas: those of broadly Nietzschean inclination who reject``modern moral philosophy'''' in favor of the ethical ideas of theclassical Greeks. Two important features of their project are todeny the usefulness of the ``moral/nonmoral distinction,'''' and todeny that what are usually classified as moral reasons always oreven characteristically ``trump'''' nonmoral reasons in anadmirable agent''s deliberations.I show critics of modern moral philosophy such as BernardWilliams that their acceptance of tragic dilemmas underminestheir project of denying the moral/nonmoral distinction and thepriority of moral reasons. The possibility of tragic dilemmasrequires an account of practical deliberation in which moralreasons appear as already in-force obligations, with blame andguilt ready to be invoked, while nonmoral reasons appear as merereasons. This makes moral reasons importantly different fromnonmoral reasons in how they achieve their deliberative weight,and also makes them characteristically weightier. Thus,accommodating tragic dilemmas reinforces the moral/nonmoraldistinction and the priority of moral reasons, the very thingsthese critics want to deny. By accepting the possibility oftragic dilemmas, these critics are undermining their own project.The standard normative theories are dead set against tragicdilemmas, and the critics of modern moral philosophy shouldreject tragic dilemmas for the good of their project. Thus we allshould reject tragic dilemmas.
|Keywords||inescapable wrongdoing modern moral philosophy moral dilemmas moral luck moral/nonmoral distinction priority of the moral practical deliberation virtue ethics Bernard Williams|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Todd Bernard Weber (2002). The Moral Dilemmas Debate, Deontic Logic, and the Impotence of Argument. Argumentation 16 (4):459-472.
Jurriaan De Haan (2001). The Definition of Moral Dilemmas: A Logical Problem. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 4 (3):267 - 284.
Silvina Alvarez (2011). Constitutional Conflicts, Moral Dilemmas, and Legal Solutions. Ratio Juris 24 (1):59-74.
Dirk Baltzly (2000). Moral Dilemmas Are Not a Local Issue. Philosophy 75 (2):245-263.
Douglas W. Portmore (2008). Are Moral Reasons Morally Overriding? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (4):369 - 388.
Stephen De Wijze (2005). Tragic-Remorse–the Anguish of Dirty Hands. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (5):453-471.
Stephen De Wijze (2005). Tragic-Remorse — the Anguish of Dirty Hands. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (5):453 - 471.
Peter Vallentyne (1992). Moral Dilemmas and Comparative Conceptions of Morality. Southern Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):117-124.
Jurriaan De Haan (2001). The Definition of Moral Dilemmas: A Logical Problem. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 4 (3):267-284.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads14 ( #93,620 of 1,006,429 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #39,266 of 1,006,429 )
How can I increase my downloads?