Why Should I Be Moral?

Philosophy 45 (172):128 - 139 (1970)
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It first needs to be shown that this question raises a problem, for many people think it is answered, or at least dissolved, in the following way. There are two independent ways of answering the question “Why should I do X?”; one ultimately in terms of what I want to do, the other ultimately in terms of what I morally ought to do. Thus showing that I morally ought to do something is a final justification of a course of action. No answer can be given to the further question “Given that X is what I morally ought to do, why ought I to do X?”. No further moral reasons can be given as ex hypothese the final moral reasons have already been given. As it is denied that moral reasons can be reduced to reasons in terms of what I want to do, the only other possible kind of reason has been ruled out also. This, however, is said net to matter, because moral reasons are not in need cf any further justification. Moral considerations simply are reasons for action just as much as wanting to do something simply is a reason for doing it



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Does Moral Philosophy rest on a Mistake?H. A. Pritchard - 1912 - Philosophical Review 21:493.
Morality and advantage.David P. Gauthier - 1967 - Philosophical Review 76 (4):460-475.
Can the moral point of view be justified?J. C. Thornton - 1964 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 42 (1):22-34.

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