Moral schizophrenia and the paradox of friendship

Utilitas 22 (1):1-25 (2010)
Scott Woodcock
University of Victoria
In his landmark paper, , Michael Stocker introduces an affliction that is, according to his diagnosis, endemic to all modern ethical theories. Stocker's paper is well known and often cited, yet moral schizophrenia remains a surprisingly obscure diagnosis. I argue that moral schizophrenia, properly understood, is not necessarily as disruptive as its name suggests. However, I also argue that Stocker's inability to demonstrate that moral schizophrenia constitutes a reductio of modern ethical theories does not rule out the possibility that he has identified a noteworthy psychological phenomenon. Stocker is, in my opinion, correct to note that balancing our broad ethical obligations with authentic personal motives is a non-trivial psychological challenge, even if this challenge is not equivalent to a mental disorder. Hence, I conclude that proponents of modern ethical theorists should not be complacent about the burdens associated with implementing a moral psychology
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DOI 10.1017/S0953820809990331
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