One Desire Too Many

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):302-317 (2021)
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Abstract

I defend the widely-held view that morally worthy action need not be motivated by a desire to promote rightness as such. Some have recently come to reject this view, arguing that desires for rightness as such are necessary for avoiding a certain kind of luck thought incompatible with morally worthy action. I show that those who defend desires for rightness as such on the basis of this argument misunderstand the relationship between moral worth and the kind of luck that their argument employs. Consequently, the argument provides no reason to doubt the popular view that a desire for rightness as such is no part of virtue. I conclude by suggesting that a family of worries about merely accidentally right action presuppose one side of the recent debate about objectivism and perspectivism about moral rightness.

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Nathan Robert Howard
Texas A&M University

Citations of this work

Categorical Phenomenalism about Sexual Orientation.T. R. Whitlow & N. G. Laskowski - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
The Goals of Moral Worth.Nathan Robert Howard - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
The fundamental reason for reasons fundamentalism.Mark Schroeder - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3107-3127.
Moral Fetishism and a Third Desire for What’s Right.Nathan Howard - 2021 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 20 (3).
Moral Worth and Knowing How to Respond to Reasons.J. J. Cunningham - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (2):385-405.

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References found in this work

Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.

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