About this topic
Summary This category deals with the study of a particular species of value. Moral worth can be defined as a particular way in which an action or an agent are valuable, or deserve credit (or deserve discredit). A central thought about moral worth is that it involves the agent's motives for acting: intuitively, an action is morally worthy when and to the extent that it is performed for the right moral reasons. The moral worth of an action then should not be identified with its value in producing good consequences or preventing bad ones (including the very performance of the act). A central task for moral philosophy is to establish what counts as the right moral reasons for performing an action, and particularly whether these include the thought that 'the action is right', even when that is true. Another central task is to define the conditions that make an agent praise- or blameworthy in view of her actions and omissions (e.g. ignorance, effort, etc.). Yet another question is what is the relation between moral worth of an action and the action's being right/wrong. Intuitively there is a difference between being morally good and merely conforming to (even correct) moral standards. Philosophers like W.D.Ross claimed that a wrong action can be morally worthy or good, and a right one can be morally unworthy or bad. The same view is often taken by utilitarians. Kantians and virtue ethicists typically do not separate rightness and worthiness as sharply, when not reducing the former to the latter. Yet another recent area of research concerns the empirical study of intuitive judgments of praise/blame, with a view to bringing out possible inconsistencies and biases in our spontaneous judgments of moral worth.
Key works Ross 1930 provides, in the opening pages, a sharp distinction between moral worth and rightness. In Ross 1939 however Ross attenuates the dichotomy, holding that an action done from the best motives cannot fail to be right: the best motives will include a due appreciation of all the right-making considerations in the right degree. That is partly due to his revised philosophy of action. For the 'reasons-approach' to moral worth, see Arpaly 2002 and Arpaly 2002 and  Markovits 2010. For an overview and a distinctive take on moral worth within Kantian ethics, see Stratton-Lake 2000. A classic in Kantian scholarship is Hill 2002. The debate has often taken its examples from literature, for a recent paper in this vein see Montmarquet 2012. (There is a whole side-literature on the philosophy of Huckleberry Finn.) For the question of whether explicitly moralized motives contribute or rather detract from moral worth, see Sorensen 2004. For an experimental philosophy approach to judgments of moral worth, see Knobe 2003.
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  1. added 2020-05-21
    Moral Worth, Credit, and Non-Accidentality.Keshav Singh - forthcoming - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol. 10.
    This paper defends an account of moral worth. Moral worth is a status that some, but not all, morally right actions have. Unlike with merely right actions, when an agent performs a morally worthy action, she is necessarily creditworthy for doing the right thing. First, I argue that two dominant views of moral worth have been unable to fully capture this necessary connection. On one view, an action is morally worthy if and only if its agent is motivated by the (...)
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  2. added 2020-05-13
    Experience as Evidence: Pregnancy Loss, Pragmatism, and Fetal Status.Amanda Roth - 2018 - Journal of Social Philosophy 49 (2):270-293.
    In this paper I take up (what I call) the pregnancy loss objection to defenses of abortion that deny fetal moral status. Though versions of this objection have been put forth by others—particularly Lindsey Porter’s in a 2015 paper—I argue that the existing versions of the objection are unsuccessful in various ways: failing to explain the ground of moral considerability that would apply to embryos/fetuses in very early pregnancy, lack of clarity about what it means to take grief after miscarriage (...)
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  3. added 2020-04-23
    Human Dignity in Contemporary Ethics.David Kirchhoffer - 2013 - New York: Teneo Press.
    Human Dignity in Contemporary Ethics develops a holistic and relevant understanding of human dignity for ethics today. Whilst critics of the concept of human dignity call for its dismissal, and many of its defenders rehearse the same old arguments, this book offers an alternative set of methodological assumptions on which to base a revitalized and practical understanding of human dignity, which at the same time overcomes the challenges that the concept currently faces. The Component Dimensions of Human Dignity model enables (...)
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  4. added 2020-03-25
    Some Difficult Intuitions for the Principle of Universality.Stephen Kershnar - 2009 - Utilitas 21 (4):478-488.
    The Principle of Universality asserts that a part retains its intrinsic value regardless of the whole in which it is a part or even whether it is part of a whole. The idea underlying this principle is that the intrinsic value of a thing supervenes on its intrinsic properties. Since the intrinsic properties remain unchanged so does the thing’s intrinsic value. In this article, I argue that, properly understood, the Principle of Universality can handle seemingly troublesome intuitions about the relative (...)
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  5. added 2020-03-25
    The Time of Intrinsic Value.Stephen Kershnar - 2008 - Journal of Value Inquiry 42 (3):317-329.
    The issue of the time of intrinsic value focuses on the time during which a state has a level of intrinsic value. This is distinct from the time that desert makes a state of affairs good or bad (time of desert) and the time that statements about desert are true or false (time of the desert statement). To arrive at this conclusion, I assumed that intrinsic value is a function of desert-adjusted well-being. Both desert and well-being should be understood as (...)
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  6. added 2020-03-12
    Welfare, Health, and the Moral Considerability of Nonsentient Biological Entities.Antoine C. Dussault - 2018 - Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 13 (1):184-209.
    This paper discusses a challenge to the claims made by biocentrists and some ecocentrists that some nonsentient biological entities qualify as candidates for moral considerability. This challenge derives from Wayne Sumner’s critique of “objective theories of welfare” and, in particular, from his critique of biocentrists’ and ecocentrists’ biofunction-based accounts of the “good of their own” of nonsentient biological entities. Sumner’s critique lends support to animal ethicists’ typical skepticism regarding those accounts, by contending that they are more plausibly interpreted as accounts (...)
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  7. added 2019-06-22
    Moral Worth Requires a Fundamental Concern for What Ultimately Matters.Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    An act that accords with duty has moral worth if and only if the agent’s reason for performing it is the same as what would have motivated a perfectly virtuous agent to perform it. On one of the two leading accounts of moral worth, an act that accords with duty has moral worth if and only if the agent’s reason for performing it is the fact that it’s obligatory. On the other, an act that accords with duty has moral worth (...)
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  8. added 2019-06-06
    Necessity, Volition, and Love. [REVIEW]Basil Smith - 2001 - Dialogue 40 (2):411-411.
    This is an insightful and clear group of essays which continues the work of an earlier collection called The Importance of What We Care About. In the earlier book, Frankfurt attempted to develop a theory of ideals independent of moral concerns. As he put it, “there is nothing distinctly moral about ideals such as being steadfastly loyal to a family tradition, or selflessly pursuing mathematical truth”. In Necessity, Volition, and Love, Frankfurt extends this theme. He says philosophers should pay attention (...)
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  9. added 2019-06-06
    Punishment, Conscience, and Moral Worth.Thomas E. Hill - 1997 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (S1):51-71.
  10. added 2019-06-05
    Profound Intellectual Disability and the Bestowment View of Moral Status.Simo Vehmas & Benjamin Curtis - 2017 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 26 (3):505-516.
    This article engages with debates concerning the moral worth of human beings with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMDs). Some argue that those with such disabilities are morally less valuable than so-called normal human beings, whereas others argue that all human beings have equal moral value and so each group of humans ought to be treated with equal concern. We will argue in favor of a reconciliatory view that takes points from opposing camps in the debates about the moral worth (...)
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  11. added 2019-04-08
    Testimonial Worth.Andrew Peet - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    This paper introduces and argues for the hypothesis that judgments of testimonial worth (that is, judgments of the quality of character an agent displays when testifying)are central to our practice of normatively appraising speech. It is argued that judgments of testimonial worth are central both to the judgement that an agent has lied, and to the acceptance of testimony. The hypothesis that, in lying, an agent necessarily displays poor testimonial worth, is shown to resolve a new puzzle about lying, and (...)
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  12. added 2019-03-27
    Scheffler’s “Afterlife Conjecture” is Not That Compelling: How His “Doomsday” and “Infertility” Scenarios Might Robustly Preserve Value and Meaning.Jason Gray - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (2):637-646.
    Samuel Scheffler postulates that we derive more value and meaning from our lives because we have confidence in the indefinite continuation of humanity than we do from our own or our loved ones’ continued existence. Scheffler believes that this shows humans to be less egocentric than some believe. He offers two thought experiments to motivate this intuition. The first thought experiment depends on the second to control for certain intuitions that run counter to the intuitions Scheffler wants to elicit. So, (...)
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  13. added 2019-01-17
    Moral Offsetting.Thomas Foerster - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):617-635.
    This paper explores the idea of moral offsetting: the idea that good actions can offset bad actions in a way roughly analogous to carbon offsetting. For example, a meat eater might try to offset their consumption of meat by donating to an animal welfare charity. In this paper, I clarify the idea of moral offsetting, consider whether the leading moral theories and theories of moral worth are consistent with the possibility of moral offsetting, and consider potential benefits of moral offsetting. (...)
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  14. added 2018-11-17
    From an Axiological Standpoint.Miles Tucker - 2019 - Ratio 32 (2):131-138.
    I maintain that intrinsic value is the fundamental concept of axiology. Many contemporary philosophers disagree; they say the proper object of value theory is final value. I examine three accounts of the nature of final value: the first claims that final value is non‐instrumental value; the second claims that final value is the value a thing has as an end; the third claims that final value is ultimate or non‐derivative value. In each case, I argue that the concept of final (...)
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  15. added 2018-11-08
    Consequentialism and Moral Worth.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (2):117-136.
    Sometimes, agents do the right thing for the right reason. What’s the normative significance of this phenomenon? According to proponents of the special status view, when an agent acts for the right reason, her actions enjoy a special normative status, namely, worthiness. Proponents of this view claim that self-effacing forms of consequentialism cannot say this plausible thing, and, worse, are blocked from having a perspicuous view of matters by the self-effacing nature of their consequentialism. In this paper, I argue that (...)
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  16. added 2018-07-07
    The Identity-Enactment Account of Associative Duties.Saba Bazargan-Forward - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2351-2370.
    Associative duties are agent-centered duties to give defeasible moral priority to our special ties. Our strongest associative duties are to close friends and family. According to reductionists, our associative duties are just special duties—i.e., duties arising from what I have done to others, or what others have done to me. These include duties to abide by promises and contracts, compensate our benefactors in ways expressing gratitude, and aid those whom we have made especially vulnerable to our conduct. I argue, though, (...)
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  17. added 2018-07-06
    Recognition and Personhood: A Critique of Bernstein's Account of the Wrongfulness of Torture.Johnny Brennan - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (1):211-226.
    J. M. Bernstein argues that to capture the depths of the harm of torture, we need to do away with the idea that we possess intrinsic and inviolable worth. If personhood is inviolable, then torture can inflict only apparent harm on our standing as persons. Bernstein claims that torture is a paradigm of moral injury because it causes what he calls “devastation”: The victim experiences an actual degradation of his or her personhood. Bernstein argues that our value is given to (...)
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  18. added 2018-03-10
    Sosa on Epistemic Value: A Kantian Obstacle.Matthew McGrath - 2019 - Synthese.
    In recent work, Sosa proposes a comprehensive account of epistemic value based on an axiology for attempts. According to this axiology, an attempt is better if it succeeds, better still if it is apt (i.e., succeeds through competence), and best if it is fully apt, (i.e., guided to aptness by apt beliefs that it would be apt). Beliefs are understood as attempts aiming at the truth. Thus, a belief is better if true, better still if apt, and best if fully (...)
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  19. added 2018-02-17
    Kant, Duty and Moral Worth.Philip Stratton-Lake - 2000 - Routledge.
    _Kant, Duty and Moral Worth _is a fascinating and original examination of Kant's account of moral worth. The complex debate at the heart of Kant's philosophy is over whether Kant said moral actions have worth only if they are carried out from duty, or whether actions carried out from mixed motives can be good. Philip Stratton-Lake offers a unique account of acting from duty, which utilizes the distinction between primary and secondary motives. He maintains that the moral law should not (...)
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  20. added 2017-01-23
    Welfare, Meaning, and Worth.Aaron Smuts - 2016 - Routledge.
    _Welfare, Meaning, and Worth_ argues that there is more to what makes a life worth living than welfare, and that a good life does not consist of what is merely good for the one who lives it. Smuts defends an objective list theory that states that the notion of worth captures matters of importance for which no plausible theory of welfare can account. He puts forth that lives worth living are net high in various objective goods, including pleasure, meaning, knowledge, (...)
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  21. added 2016-12-22
    Huckleberry FInn Revisited: Inverse Akrasia and Moral Ignorance".Arpaly Nomy - 2015 - In Randolph Clarcke Michael Mckenna & Angela M. Smith (eds.), The Nature of Moral Responsibility. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 141-156.
    This paper argue that moral ignorance does not excuse. Nobody is off the hook for doing something bad simply because she did it believing ii to be right. The paper uses the Arpaly view that cases of Akrasia can be praiseworthy as one premise in the argument.
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  22. added 2016-12-22
    Moral Worth and Normative Ethics.Arpaly Nomy - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 5.
    According to Arpaly and to Markovits, actions have moral worth iff they are done for the reasons that make them right. Can this view have implications for normative ethics? I argue that it has such implications, as you can start from truths about the moral worth of actions to truths about the reasons that make them right. What makes actions right is the question of normative ethics. I argue from the moral worth view to a pluralistic view of ethics - (...)
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  23. added 2016-12-08
    Impermissibility and Kantian Moral Worth.Jill Graper Hernandez - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (4):403-419.
    Samuel Kerstein argues that an asymmetry between moral worth and maxims prevents Kant from accepting a category of acts that are impermissible, but have moral worth. Kerstein contends that an act performed from the motive of duty should be considered as a candidate for moral worth, even if the action's maxim turns out to be impermissible, since moral worth depends on the correct moral motivation of an act, rather than on the moral lightness of an act. I argue that Kant (...)
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  24. added 2016-12-08
    Effort and Moral Worth.Kelly Sorensen - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (1):89-109.
    One of the factors that contributes to an agent’s praiseworthiness and blameworthiness — his or her moral worth — is effort. On the one hand, agents who act effortlessly seem to have high moral worth. On the other hand, agents who act effortfully seem to have high moral worth as well. I explore and explain this pair of intuitions and the contour of our views about associated cases.
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  25. added 2016-12-08
    More on the Motive of Duty.Michael Weber - 2007 - Journal of Ethics 11 (1):65-86.
    A number of neo-Kantians have suggested that an act may be morally worthy even if sympathy and similar emotions are present, so long as they are not what in fact motivates right action–so long as duty, and duty alone, in fact motivates. Thus, the ideal Kantian moral agent need not be a cold and unfeeling person, as some critics have suggested. Two objections to this view need to be answered. First, some maintain that motives cannot be present without in fact (...)
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  26. added 2016-12-08
    Moral Worth.Nomy Arpaly - 2002 - Journal of Philosophy 99 (5):223.
    I argue that a right action has moral worth if and only if it is done for the right reasons - that is, for its right-making features. The reasons the agent acts on have to be identical to the reasons for which the action is right. I argue that Kantians are wrong in thinking that a right action has moral worth iff it is done because the agent thinks it is right, giving examples of morally worthy actions that are done (...)
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  27. added 2016-12-01
    Creditworthiness and Matching Principles.Jonathan Way - forthcoming - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol 7. Oxford University Press.
    You are creditworthy for φ-ing only if φ-ing is the right thing to do. Famously though, further conditions are needed too – Kant’s shopkeeper did the right thing, but is not creditworthy for doing so. This case shows that creditworthiness requires that there be a certain kind of explanation of why you did the right thing. The reasons for which you act – your motivating reasons – must meet some further conditions. In this paper, I defend a new account of (...)
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  28. added 2016-11-22
    Accepting Moral Luck.Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - In Ian M. Church & Robert J. Hartman (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Psychology of Luck. New York: Routledge.
    I argue that certain kinds of luck can partially determine an agent’s praiseworthiness and blameworthiness. To make this view clearer, consider some examples. Two identical agents drive recklessly around a curb, and one but not the other kills a pedestrian. Two identical corrupt judges would freely take a bribe if one were offered. Only one judge is offered a bribe, and so only one judge takes a bribe. Put in terms of these examples, I argue that the killer driver and (...)
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  29. added 2016-06-22
    Achieving Moral Progress Despite Moral Regress.Ben Dixon - 2005 - Social Philosophy Today 21:157-172.
    Moral progress and some of the conditions under which groups can make it is the focus of this paper. More specifically, I address a problem arising from the use of pluralistic criteria for determining moral progress. Pluralistic criteria can allow for judgments that moral progress has taken place where there is causally related moral regression. Indeed, an otherwise well-argued pluralistic theory put forward by Michelle Moody-Adams allows for such conflicting judgments. I argue, however, that the way in which Moody-Adams handles (...)
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  30. added 2016-04-09
    Still Lives: The History and Philosophy of Mourning Texts.Veronica Alfano & Mark Alfano - forthcoming - Routledge.
    “Call no one happy until they are dead.” “Never speak ill of the dead.” If we still heed the injunctions of Solon and Chilon of Sparta, then obituaries, which represent a prominent way of expressing the human universal of grief, are a resource for philosophical anthropology. Philosophers have emphasized that we can determine what counts as a virtue for a given type of person in a given cultural context by analyzing what people say about the dead (Zagzebski 1996, p. 135). (...)
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  31. added 2016-02-20
    The Moorean Argument for the Full Moral Status of Those with Profound Intellectual Disability: A Rejoinder to Roberts.Benjamin L. Curtis & Simo Vehmas - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (4):266-267.
    In a recent paper we argued that a Moorean strategy can be employed to justify our continuing to believe the following proposition, even in the presence of philosophical views that entail it is false, without any philosophical argument against those views, and without any positive philosophical argument in its favour: -/- H>A: Humans have an equal moral status that is higher than the moral status of non-human animals. -/- The basic idea is that our confidence in the truth of this (...)
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  32. added 2015-12-01
    The Virtues of Happiness: A Theory of the Good Life. [REVIEW]E. Sonny Elizondo - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (262):181-183.
    A Review of Paul Bloomfield's book _The Virtues of Happiness: A Theory of the Good Life_ (OUP 2014).
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  33. added 2015-04-04
    A Study in the Grounds of Ethical Knowledge: Considered with Reference To Judgments on the Moral Worth of Character.John Rawls - 1950 - Dissertation, Princeton University
  34. added 2014-12-06
    Against Equal Respect and Concern, Equal Rights, and Egalitarian Impartiality.Uwe Steinhoff - 2014 - In Do All Persons Have Equal Moral Worth? On "Basic Equality" and Equal Respect and Concern. Oxford University Press. pp. 142-172.
    I argue that the often-heard claim that all serious present-day political philosophers subscribe to the principle of equal respect and concern or to the doctrine of equal moral status or are in some other fundamental sense egalitarians is wrong. Also wrong is the further claim that the usual methods currently used in political philosophy presuppose basic equality. I further argue that liberal egalitarianism itself is wrong. There is no universal duty “of equal respect and concern” towards every person, for one (...)
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  35. added 2014-11-22
    Do All Persons Have Equal Moral Worth? On "Basic Equality" and Equal Respect and Concern.Uwe Steinhoff (ed.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    In present-day political and moral philosophy the idea that all persons are in some way moral equals is an almost universal premise, with its defenders often claiming that philosophical positions that reject the principle of equal respect and concern do not deserve to be taken seriously. This has led to relatively few attempts to clarify, or indeed justify, 'basic equality' and the principle of equal respect and concern. Such clarification and justification, however, would be direly needed. After all, the ideas, (...)
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  36. added 2014-04-28
    Supererogation, Inside and Out: Toward an Adequate Scheme for Common Sense Morality.Paul McNamara - 2011 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume I. Oxford University Press. pp. 202-235.
    The standard analysis of supererogation is that of optional actions that are praiseworthy to perform, but not blameworthy to skip. Widespread assumptions are that action beyond the call is at least necessarily equivalent to supererogation ("The Equivalence") and that forgoing certain agent-favoring prerogatives entails supererogation (“The Corollary”). I argue that the classical conception of supererogation is not reconcilable with the Equivalence or the Corollary, and that the classical analysis of supererogation is seriously defective. I sketch an enriched conceptual scheme, “Doing (...)
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  37. added 2014-04-02
    Enhancing Moral Conformity and Enhancing Moral Worth.Thomas Douglas - 2014 - Neuroethics 7 (1):75-91.
    It is plausible that we have moral reasons to become better at conforming to our moral reasons. However, it is not always clear what means to greater moral conformity we should adopt. John Harris has recently argued that we have reason to adopt traditional, deliberative means in preference to means that alter our affective or conative states directly—that is, without engaging our deliberative faculties. One of Harris’ concerns about direct means is that they would produce only a superficial kind of (...)
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  38. added 2014-04-02
    The Relationship Between Effort and Moral Worth: Three Amendments to Sorensen’s Model.Thomas Douglas - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (2):325-334.
    Kelly Sorensen defends a model of the relationship between effort and moral worth in which the effort exerted in performing a morally desirable action contributes positively to the action’s moral worth, but the effort required to perform the action detracts from its moral worth. I argue that Sorensen’s model, though on the right track, is mistaken in three ways. First, it fails to capture the relevance of counterfactual effort to moral worth. Second, it wrongly implies that exerting unnecessary effort confers (...)
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  39. added 2014-03-31
    Moral Accountancy and Moral Worth.Saul Smilansky - 1997 - Metaphilosophy 28 (1‐2):123-134.
    People do good or bad things, and get or do not get good or bad credit for their actions, depending (in part) on knowledge of their actions. I attempt to unfold some of the interconnections between these matters, and between them and the achievement of moral worth. The main conclusion is that the heights of moral worth seem to appear in the oddest places.
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  40. added 2014-03-30
    Good Will and the Moral Worth of Acting From Duty.Robert N. Johnson - 2009 - In Thomas E. Hill (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Kant's Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
    The first section of the Groundwork begins “It is impossible to imagine anything at all in the world, or even beyond it, that can be called good without qualification— except a good will.”1 Kant’s explanation and defense of this claim is followed by an explanation and defense of another related claim, that only actions performed out of duty have moral worth. He explains that actions performed out of duty are those done from respect for the moral law, and then culminates (...)
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  41. added 2014-03-27
    Moral Status of Animals From Marginal Cases.Julia Tanner - 2011 - In Michael Bruce Steven Barbone (ed.), Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell.
    It matters a great deal whether animals have moral status. If animals have moral status, it may be wrong for us to use them as we currently do – hunting, farming, eating, and experimenting on them. The argument from marginal cases provides us with a reason to think that some animals have moral status that is equal to that of “marginal” humans.
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  42. added 2014-03-25
    Toward a Framework for Agency, Inevitability, Praise and Blame.Paul McNamara - 2000 - Nordic Journal of Philosophical Logic 5 (2):135-159.
    There is little work of a systematic nature in ethical theory or deontic logic on aretaic notions such as praiseworthiness and blameworthiness, despite their centrality to common-sense morality. Without more work, there is little hope of filling the even larger gap of attempting to develop frameworks integrating such aretaic concepts with deontic concepts of common-sense morality, such as what is obligatory, permissible, impermissible, or supererogatory. It is also clear in the case of aretaic concepts that agency is central to such (...)
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  43. added 2014-03-22
    The Motive of Duty and the Nature of Emotions: Kantian Reflections on Moral Worth.Michael Weber - 2003 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (2):183 - 202.
    As a result there is a considerable literature on the topic. I think, however, that the treatment in the literature is incomplete because there is a failure to examine the relevant emotions in significant detail, and in particular to consider their complexity and the conditions of their warrant. As a result, both defenses and critiques of the motive of duty in terms of reliability are inadequate as they stand.
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  44. added 2014-03-22
    Kant, Nonaccidentalness and the Availability of Moral Worth.Steven Sverdlik - 2001 - The Journal of Ethics 5 (4):293-313.
    Contemporary Kantians who defend Kant''s view of the superiority of the sense of duty as a form of motivation appeal to various ideas. Some say, if only implicitly, that the sense of duty is always ``available'''' to an agent, when she has a moral obligation. Some, like Barbara Herman, say that the sense of duty provides a ``nonaccidental'''' connection between an agent''s motivation and the act''s rightness. In this paper I show that the ``availability'''' and ``nonaccidentalness'''' arguments are in tension (...)
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  45. added 2014-03-20
    The Paradoxical Relationship Between Morality and Moral Worth.Saul Smilansky - 2005 - Metaphilosophy 36 (4):490-500.
    If the social environment were arranged so that most people in the West could, with relatively little effort, be morally good to a reasonable degree, would this be a good thing? I claim that it is not entirely obvious that we should say yes. This is no idle question: mainstream Western social morality today seems to be approaching the prospect for a morality that is not taxing. This question has substantial theoretical interest because exploring it will help us understand the (...)
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  46. added 2014-03-12
    Species as a Relationship.Julia Tanner - 2008 - Acta Analytica 23 (4):337-347.
    The fact that humans have a special relationship to each other insofar as they belong in the same species is often taken to be a morally relevant difference between humans and other animals, one which justifies a greater moral status for all humans, regardless of their individual capacities. I give some reasons why this kind of relationship is not an appropriate ground for differential treatment of humans and nonhumans. I then argue that even if relationships do matter morally species membership (...)
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  47. added 2014-03-12
    The Paradox of Moral Worth.Kelly Sorensen - 2004 - Journal of Philosophy 101 (9):465 - 483.
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  48. added 2014-03-09
    Meaningful Work and Moral Worth.Christopher Michaelson - 2009 - Business and Professional Ethics Journal 28 (1-4):27-48.
    In general, meaningful work has been conceived to be a matter of institutional obligation and individual choice. In other words, solong as the institution has fulfilled its objective moral obligation to make meaningful work possible, it is up to the subjective volition of the individual to choose or not to choose work that is perceived to be meaningful. However, this conception is incomplete in at least two ways. First, it neglects the role of institutional volition; that is, it does not (...)
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  49. added 2014-03-07
    Acting for the Right Reasons.Julia Markovits - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (2):201-242.
    This essay examines the thought that our right actions have moral worth only if we perform them for the right reasons. It argues against the view, often ascribed to Kant, that morally worthy actions must be performed because they are right and argues that Kantians and others ought instead to accept the view that morally worthy actions are those performed for the reasons why they are right. In other words, morally worthy actions are those for which the reasons why they (...)
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  50. added 2014-03-04
    Moral Worth, Supererogation, and the Justifying/Requiring Distinction.J. Gert - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (4):611-618.
    Julia Markovits has recently argued for what she calls the ‘Coincident Reasons Thesis’: the thesis that one’s action is morally worthy if and only if one’s motivating reasons for acting mirror, in content and strength, the reasons that explain why the action ought, morally, to be performed. This thesis assumes that the structure of motivating reasons is sufficiently similar to the structure of normative reasons that the required coincidence in content and strength is a genuine possibility. But because motivating reasons (...)
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