Can Morality Do Without Prudence?

Philosophia 39 (2):311-326 (2011)

Authors
David Kaspar
St. John's University
Abstract
This paper argues that morality depends on prudence, or more specifically, that one cannot be a moral person without being prudent. Ethicists are unaware of this, ignore it, or imply it is wrong. Although this thesis is not obvious from the current perspective of ethics, I believe that its several implications for ethics make it worth examining. In this paper I argue for the prudence dependency thesis by isolating moral practice from all reliance on prudence. The result is that in the actual world in which we live one cannot be moral unless one is prudent. In order to show that morality depends on prudence for the entire range of moral situations, we put prudence to the test against the most extraordinary of moral situations: moral dilemmas. Doing so shows that for all practical purposes moral dilemmas are prudential problems for agents, giving further support to the prudence dependency thesis
Keywords Prudence  Morality  Prudence dependence  Moral dilemmas  Moral situations
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-010-9299-9
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References found in this work BETA

On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior.John M. Doris - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):648-655.
The Concept of Law.Hla Hart - 1961 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

How We Decide in Moral Situations.David Kaspar - 2015 - Philosophy 90 (1):59-81.
The Prudential Value of Forgiveness.Stephen Ingram - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (4):1069-1078.
The Imprudence of the Vulnerable.Steve Matthews - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):791-805.

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