Morality and the view from here

Journal of Ethics 3 (3):203-223 (1999)
According to one influential conception of morality, being moral is a matter of acting from or in accordance with a moral point of view, a point of view which is arrived at by abstracting from a more natural, pre-ethical, personal point of view, and recognizing that each person''s personal point of view has equal standing. The idea that, were it not for morality, rational persons would act from their respectively personal points of view is, however, simplistic and misleading. Because our nonmoral reasons cannot all be adequately captured as falling within any single, unified and coherent point of view, morality cannot be adequately understood as a matter of abstracting from such points of view and taking them all equally into account. After considering several ways of modifying the initial conception of morality in a way that accommodates the variety of nonmoral reasons that do not have their source in a personal point of view, the paper concludes with the suggestion that we free ourselves more thoroughly from the grip of the metaphor that takes morality as a whole to be a matter of acting in accordance with the judgments of a single unified and coherent point of view.
Keywords Kantianism  moral point of view  nonmoral values  perfectionist values (or perfectionism)  personal point of view  self-interest  utilitarianism
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