Virtue ethics, theory, and warrant

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (3):277-294 (1999)

Abstract

Are there good grounds for thinking that the moral values of action are to be derived from those of character? This virtue ethical claim is sometimes thought of as a kind of normative ethical theory; sometimes as form of opposition to any such theory. However, the best case to be made for it supports neither of these claims. Rather, it leads us to a distinctive view in moral epistemology: the view that my warrant for a particular moral judgement derives from my warrant for believing that I am a good moral judge. This view seems to confront a regress-problem. For the belief that I am a good moral judge is itself a particular moral judgement. So it seems that, on this view, I need to derive my warrant for believing that I am a good moral judge from my warrant for believing that I am a good judge of moral judges; and so on. I show how this worry can be met, and trace the implications of the resulting view for warranted moral judgement.

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Garrett Cullity
Australian National University

References found in this work

Virtue and Reason.John McDowell - 1979 - The Monist 62 (3):331-350.
Contractualism and Utilitarianism.Thomas M. Scanlon - 1982 - In Amartya Kumar Sen & Bernard Arthur Owen Williams (eds.), Utilitarianism and Beyond. Cambridge University Press. pp. 103--128.
Of the Standard of Taste.David Hume - 1757 - In Essays Moral, Political, and Literary. Libertyclassics (1987). pp. 226-249.

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Citations of this work

Virtue Ethics and the Search for an Account of Right Action.Frans Svensson - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (3):255-271.
Idealist Origins: 1920s and Before.Martin Davies & Stein Helgeby - 2014 - In Graham Oppy & Nick Trakakis (eds.), History of Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. pp. 15-54.

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