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Moral Writings$
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H. A. Prichard and Jim MacAdam

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250196

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199250197.001.0001

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Does Moral Philosophy Rest on a Mistake ?

Does Moral Philosophy Rest on a Mistake ?

Chapter:
(p.7) 2. Does Moral Philosophy Rest on a Mistake?
Source:
Moral Writings
Author(s):

H. A. Prichard

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199250197.003.0002

Maintaining that the existence of Moral Philosophy, as it is usually understood, rests on a mistake, Prichard undertakes to formulate our true attitude towards moral obligations. The right action does not depend upon either our own good or what is good. Obligations are underivative, immediate, and self‐evident, and therefore, we do not come to appreciate them through argument or a process of non‐moral thinking. The mistake on which Moral Philosophy rests, which links obligation to virtue or desire, parallels the mistake underpinning the Theory of Knowledge. Like moral obligation, knowledge is immediate; it need not be vindicated or improved by additional knowledge.

Keywords:   desire, good, knowledge, moral philosophy, obligation, right, theory of knowledge, virtue

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