Moral Dilemmas and Moral Luck

Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 78:233-246 (2004)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In recent years, Alasdair MacIntyre and others have observed an increasing interest on the part of contemporary ethicists regarding the question of whetherinnocent agents ever find themselves in moral dilemmas. This present-day support for the existence of moral dilemmas for innocent agents has spawned a re-reading of canonical ethical texts in the history of philosophy. The point of departure for the present paper is one particularly contentious battleground of this ongoing historical retrieval, namely, the ethical writings of Thomas Aquinas. I contend that Aquinas is not an ally of those who defend the existence of moral dilemmas for innocent agents. However, Aquinas does present what is in my view a valuable contribution to the discussion of moral dilemmas as such. I show that a close textual reading of one of Aquinas’s examples leads to some rather interesting consequences for his moral theory, and that, surprisingly, this example could be of interest to contemporary ethicists who argue for the existence of moral luck.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,164

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The definition of moral dilemmas: A logical problem. [REVIEW]Jurriaan De Haan - 2001 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 4 (3):267-284.
Moral dilemmas and comparative conceptions of morality.Peter Vallentyne - 1992 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):117-124.
“Two Types of Moral Dilemmas”.Peter Vallentyne - 1989 - Erkenntnis 30 (3):301-318.
Moral dilemmas and other topics in moral philosophy.Philippa Foot - 2002 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Moral Theory Behind Moral Dilemmas.Alex Rajczi - 2002 - American Philosophical Quarterly 39 (4):373-383.
Moral Luck Defended.Nathan Hanna - 2014 - Noûs 48 (4):683-698.
Moral Dilemmas and Vagueness.Matjaž Potrč & Vojko Strahovnik - 2013 - Acta Analytica 28 (2):207-222.


Added to PP

42 (#359,513)

6 months
2 (#1,136,865)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

M. V. Dougherty
Ohio Dominican University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references