Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Morality and Self-Interest$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paul Bloomfield

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195305845

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305845.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 July 2020

Potential Congruence

Potential Congruence

(p.117) 6 Potential Congruence
Morality and Self-Interest

Samuel Scheffler

Oxford University Press

Morality can hardly perform a function, which is discussed in this chapter, unless it offers directives that not only can but frequently do differ from those of self-interest itself. The idea of potential congruence asserts that the relation between morality and the interests of the individual agent is characterized by a high degree of mutual accommodation, so that the frequency and severity of conflict between these two perspectives is significantly reduced. Conflicts are nevertheless possible in principle, but the extent to which they arise in practice is not fixed or immutable. Instead, the frequency of conflict depends to a considerable degree on the character of the prevailing social and political institutions. Achieving convergence between morality and self-interest is in part a social and political task. The account of the “priority” of morality developed by Thomas Scanlon in his book What We Owe to Each Other (and elsewhere) is similar in a number of respects to this chapter's account of potential congruence.

Keywords:   directives, congruence, accommodation, immutable, Ruth Chang

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .