Consequentialism, integrity and demandingness

In this paper I will develop the argument that a cognitivist and virtue ethical approach to moral reasons is the only approach that can sustain a non-alienated relation to one’s character and ethical commitments. [Thomas, 2005] As a corollary of this claim, I will argue that moral reasons must be understood as reasonably partial. A view of this kind can, nevertheless, recognise the existence of general and positive obligations to humanity. Doing so does not undermine the view by leading to a highly demanding view of morality. Indeed, it offers a defence against the view that an analogy between obligations of immediate rescue to particular individuals and general and positive obligations to humanity leads to the conclusion that morality is highly demanding. The plan of this paper is as follows. The first section sets out the main elements of a cognitivist and virtue ethical approach to moral reasons. The second applies it to the test case of an argument that claims that one way in which one seeks to lead a non-alienated ethical life, a life of integrity, is incompatible with the requirements of consequentialism given certain very general facts about the moral state of the world. [Ashford, 2000] My..
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