Philosophical Review 119 (2):201-242 (2010)

Authors
Julia Markovits
Cornell University
Abstract
This essay examines the thought that our right actions have moral worth only if we perform them for the right reasons. It argues against the view, often ascribed to Kant, that morally worthy actions must be performed because they are right and argues that Kantians and others ought instead to accept the view that morally worthy actions are those performed for the reasons why they are right. In other words, morally worthy actions are those for which the reasons why they were performed (the reasons motivating them) and the reasons why they morally ought to have been performed (the reasons morally justifying them) coincide. The essay calls this the Coincident Reasons Thesis and argues that it provides plausible necessary and sufficient conditions for morally worthy action, defending the claim against proposed counterexamples. It ends by showing that the plausibility of the thesis, which it argues is largely independent of any particular ethical standpoint, gives us some reason to doubt a class of ethical theories that includes utilitarianism.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1215/00318108-2009-037
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,165
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Why Be Rational.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
The Moral Problem.James Lenman - 1994 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1 (1):125-126.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Rational Moral Ignorance.Zach Barnett - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
In Defense of Moral Testimony.Paulina Sliwa - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):175-195.

View all 67 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Self-Knowledge and the First Person.Cynthia Macdonald - 2004 - In M. Sie, Marc Slors & B. Van den Brink (eds.), Reasons of One's Own. Ashgate.
Saints, Heroes, Sages, and Villains.Julia Markovits - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):289-311.
Desires, Reasons, and Causes. [REVIEW]Stephen Darwall - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):436–443.
Practical Reasons and Moral 'Ought'.Patricia Greenspan - 2007 - In Russell Schafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, vol. II. Clarendon Press. pp. 172-194.
Can There Be Full Excuses for Morally Wrong Actions?Eduardo Rivera-López - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):124-142.
Can Virtuous Actions Be Both Habitual and Rational?Bill Pollard - 2003 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6 (4):411-425.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-03-11

Total views
459 ( #12,450 of 2,324,710 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
44 ( #14,445 of 2,324,710 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes