What moral saints look like

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):pp. 371-398 (2009)
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Abstract

Susan Wolf famously claimed that the life of the moral saint is unattractive from the “point of view of individual perfection.” I argue, however, that the unattractive moral saints in Wolf’s account are self-defeating on two levels, are motivated in the wrong way, and are called into question by real-life counter-examples. By appealing to a real-life case study, I argue that the best life from the moral point of view is not necessarily unattractive from the individual point of view.

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Vanessa Carbonell
University of Cincinnati

Citations of this work

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Exemplars and expertise: what we cannot learn from saints and heroes.Alfred Archer & Matthew Dennis - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Alienation, consequentialism, and the demands of morality.Peter Railton - 1984 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 13 (2):134-171.
Moral saints.Susan Wolf - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (8):419-439.
Saints and heroes.J. O. Urmson - 1958 - In Abraham Irving Melden (ed.), Essays in moral philosophy. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
The Moral Problem.Stephen Darwall - 1996 - Philosophical Quarterly 46 (185):508-515.
Moral cognitivism and motivation.Sigrún Svavarsdóttir - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (2):161-219.

View all 13 references / Add more references