Three conceptions of action in moral theory

Noûs 35 (1):93–117 (2001)

Authors
Tamar Schapiro
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Abstract
The utilitarian conception, which I call “action as production,” holds that action is a way of making use of the world, conceived as a causal mechanism. According to the rational intuitionist conception, which I call “action as assertion,” action is a way of acknowledging the value in the world, conceived as a realm of status. On the Kantian constructivist conception, which I call “action as participation,” action is a way of making the world, qua causal mechanism, come to count as a realm of status. My rather limited aim in this paper is to identify three substantively different answers the question of how action relates an agent to the world, regarded as a context of action.
Keywords Cumberland  Wollaston  Rawls
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DOI 10.1111/0029-4624.00289
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