Assessing Recent Agent-Based Accounts of Right Action

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (2):433-444 (2020)
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Agent-based virtue ethical theories must deal with the problem of right action: if an action is right just in case it expresses a virtuous motive, then how can an agent perform the right action but for the wrong reason, or from a vicious motive? Some recent agent-based accounts purport to answer this challenge and two other related problems. Here I assess these accounts and show them to be inadequate answers to the problem of right action. Overall, it is shown that the most recent and promising attempts at squaring agent-based virtue ethics with commonsense morality are flawed, and so, the case for agent-basing in general that much dimmer.

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Graham Renz
Marian University

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References found in this work

Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse & Glen Pettigrove - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Killing in war.Jeff McMahan - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Virtue, Vice, and Value.Thomas Hurka - 2001 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
Morals from motives.Michael Slote - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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