Against Hegemonism in Moral Theory

Utilitas 14 (2):219 (2002)
What I call hegemonism holds that a satisfactory moral theory must in a fairly direct way guide action. This, the hegemonist believes, provides a constraint on moral theorizing. We should not accept moral theories which cannot in the proper sense guide us. There are two alternatives to hegemonism. One is motivational indirection, which is the idea that while agents remain motivated by a moral theory, they may be only indirectly motivated. The other is non-hegemonism, which holds that a correct moral theory need not in any direct or indirect sense guide or motivate actions. In the main part of the paper I discuss widely endorsed objections to motivational indirection and nonhegemonism, and I argue that these objections all fail. Hence, motivational indirection and non-hegemonism remain viable conceptions of moral theory
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DOI 10.1017/S0953820800003526
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