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Morals from Motives$
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Michael Slote

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195138375

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195138376.001.0001

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Morality and the Practical

Morality and the Practical

(p.38) Two Morality and the Practical
Morals from Motives

Michael Slote (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Is an agent‐based sentimentalist virtue ethics of caring or benevolence sufficiently action‐guiding, given the focus on the inner life rather than external factors? The answer is that such forms of ethics are not meant to be practical in this sense, because a focus on what is right or obligatory takes the agent away from a praiseworthy focus on the good of other individuals. The ideal agent is deeply connected with and directly concerned about the welfare of others, and such a person does not conscientiously worry about whether he or she is acting rightly or virtuously. This conclusion allows us to understand moral growth and moral conflict – though in a way different from the way in which the Kantian tradition, with its emphasis on conscientiousness, does.

Keywords:   action‐guiding, agent‐based, connected, conscientiousness, Kantian, practical, virtue ethics

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