Philip Devine
Providence College
In recent years, analytically trained philosophers have given extensive attention to various issues involved in the “culture wars,” including abortion, same-sex marriage, stem-cell research, and assisted suicide. There are, however, moral judgments that virtually no one questions. Defenses of adult-child sex, for example, are rare. There is also “conventional immorality”—the breach of conventional moral standards within roughly defined limits that at least limit the resulting damage to third parties and social institutions. These phenomena frame moral discussion even when, as often happens, conventional people are in serious moral disagreement. In this essay I try to make sense of the phenomenon; in a subsequent essay I will show how conventional morality contains within itself the seeds of its collapse, and hence requires support from human nature, either rationally discovered or understood through revelation accepted in faith
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0019-0365
DOI 10.5840/ipq20054528
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