Moral Worth and Moral Knowledge

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):393-418 (2016)
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Abstract

To have moral worth an action not only needs to conform to the correct normative theory ; it also needs to be motivated in the right way. I argue that morally worthy actions are motivated by the rightness of the action; they are motivated by an agent's concern for doing what's right and her knowledge that her action is morally right. Call this the Rightness Condition. On the Rightness Condition moral motivation involves both a conative and a cognitive element—in particular, it involves moral knowledge. I argue that the Rightness Condition is both necessary and sufficient for moral worth. I also argue that the Rightness Condition gives us an attractive account of actions performed under imperfect epistemic circumstances: by agents who rely on moral testimony or by those who, like Huckleberry Finn, have false moral convictions.

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Author's Profile

Paulina Sliwa
University of Vienna

Citations of this work

Accidentally Doing the Right Thing.Zoe Johnson King - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):186-206.
One Desire Too Many.Nathan Robert Howard - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):302-317.
Praiseworthy Motivations.Zoë A. Johnson King - 2020 - Noûs 54 (2):408-430.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2001 - Oxford University Press.

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