Moral Worth

Edited by Nathan Robert Howard (University of Toronto, St. George Campus, University of Toronto at Scarborough)
About this topic
Summary This category deals with the study of a particular species of value. Moral worth can be defined as a particular way in which an action or an agent are valuable, or deserve credit (or deserve discredit). A central thought about moral worth is that it involves the agent's motives for acting: intuitively, an action is morally worthy when and to the extent that it is performed for the right moral reasons. The moral worth of an action then should not be identified with its value in producing good consequences or preventing bad ones (including the very performance of the act). A central task for moral philosophy is to establish what counts as the right moral reasons for performing an action, and particularly whether these include the thought that 'the action is right', even when that is true. Another central task is to define the conditions that make an agent praise- or blameworthy in view of her actions and omissions (e.g. ignorance, effort, etc.). Yet another question is what is the relation between moral worth of an action and the action's being right/wrong. Intuitively there is a difference between being morally good and merely conforming to (even correct) moral standards. Philosophers like W.D.Ross claimed that a wrong action can be morally worthy or good, and a right one can be morally unworthy or bad. The same view is often taken by utilitarians. Kantians and virtue ethicists typically do not separate rightness and worthiness as sharply, when not reducing the former to the latter. Yet another recent area of research concerns the empirical study of intuitive judgments of praise/blame, with a view to bringing out possible inconsistencies and biases in our spontaneous judgments of moral worth.
Key works Ross 1930 provides, in the opening pages, a sharp distinction between moral worth and rightness. In Ross 1939 however Ross attenuates the dichotomy, holding that an action done from the best motives cannot fail to be right: the best motives will include a due appreciation of all the right-making considerations in the right degree. That is partly due to his revised philosophy of action. For the 'reasons-approach' to moral worth, see Arpaly 2002 and Arpaly 2002 and  Markovits 2010. For an overview and a distinctive take on moral worth within Kantian ethics, see Stratton-Lake 2000. A classic in Kantian scholarship is Hill 2002. The debate has often taken its examples from literature, for a recent paper in this vein see Montmarquet 2012. (There is a whole side-literature on the philosophy of Huckleberry Finn.) For the question of whether explicitly moralized motives contribute or rather detract from moral worth, see Sorensen 2004. For an experimental philosophy approach to judgments of moral worth, see Knobe 2003.
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125 found
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  1. Moral Worth Requires a Fundamental Concern for What Ultimately Matters.Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    An act that accords with duty has moral worth if and only if the agent’s reason for performing it is the same as what would have motivated a perfectly virtuous agent to perform it. On one of the two leading accounts of moral worth, an act that accords with duty has moral worth if and only if the agent’s reason for performing it is the fact that it’s obligatory. On the other, an act that accords with duty has moral worth (...)
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  2. The Goals of Moral Worth.Nathan Robert Howard - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
    While it is tempting to suppose that an act has moral worth just when and because it is motivated by sufficient moral reasons, philosophers have, largely, come to doubt this analysis. Doubt is rooted in two claims. The first is that some facts can motivate a given act in multiple ways, not all of which are consistent with moral worth. The second is the orthodox view that normative reasons are facts. I defend the tempting analysis by proposing and defending a (...)
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  3. Moral Worth and Our Ultimate Moral Concerns.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics.
    Some right acts have what philosophers call moral worth. A right act has moral worth if and only if its agent deserves credit for having acted rightly in this instance. And I argue that an agent deserves credit for having acted rightly if and only if her act issues from an appropriate set of concerns, where the appropriateness of these concerns is a function what her ultimate moral concerns should be. Two important upshots of the resulting account of moral worth (...)
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  4. Cruel Intentions and Evil Deeds.Eyal Tal & Hannah Tierney - forthcoming - Ergo.
    What it means for an action to have moral worth, and what is required for this to be the case, is the subject of continued controversy. Some argue that an agent performs a morally worthy action if and only if they do it because the action is morally right. Others argue that a morally worthy action is that which an agent performs because of features that make the action right. These theorists, though they oppose one another, share something important in (...)
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  5. Creditworthiness and Matching Principles.Jonathan Way - forthcoming - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol 7. Oxford University Press.
    You are creditworthy for φ-ing only if φ-ing is the right thing to do. Famously though, further conditions are needed too – Kant’s shopkeeper did the right thing, but is not creditworthy for doing so. This case shows that creditworthiness requires that there be a certain kind of explanation of why you did the right thing. The reasons for which you act – your motivating reasons – must meet some further conditions. In this paper, I defend a new account of (...)
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  6. Admiration, Appreciation, and Aesthetic Worth.Daniel Whiting - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    What is aesthetic appreciation? In this paper, I approach this question in an indirection fashion. First, I introduce the Kantian notion of moral worthy action and an influential analysis of it. Next, I generalize that analysis from the moral to the aesthetic domain, and from actions to affects. Aesthetic appreciation, I suggest, consists in an aesthetically worthy affective response. After unpacking the proposal, I show that it has non-trivial implications while cohering with a number of existing insights concerning the nature (...)
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  7. Moral Worth and Knowing How to Respond to Reasons.J. J. Cunningham - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (2):385-405.
    It’s one thing to do the right thing. It’s another to be creditable for doing the right thing. Being creditable for doing the right thing requires that one does the right thing out of a morally laudable motive and that there is a non-accidental fit between those two elements. This paper argues that the two main views of morally creditable action – the Right Making Features View and the Rightness Itself View – fail to capture that non-accidentality constraint: the first (...)
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  8. Moral worth, right reasons and counterfactual motives.Laura Fearnley - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (9):2869-2890.
    This paper explores the question of what makes an action morally worthy. I start with a popular theory of moral worth which roughly states that a right action is morally praiseworthy if and only if it is performed in response to the reasons which make the action right. While I think the account provides promising foundations for determining praiseworthiness, I argue that the view lacks the resources to adequately satisfy important desiderata associated with theories of moral worth. Firstly, the view (...)
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  9. Doubts about Duty as a Secondary Motive.Jessica Isserow - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (2):276-298.
    Many follow Kant in thinking that morally worthy actions must be carried out solely from the motive of duty. This outlook faces two challenges: (1) The One Feeling Too Few problem (actions that issue from, say, compassion also seem to have moral worth), and (2) The One Thought Too Many problem (some actions have moral worth precisely because they’re not motivated by duty). These challenges haven’t led Kantians to dispense with the motive of duty. Instead, they have proposed to push (...)
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  10. A Dilemma for De Dicto Halakhic Motivation: Why Mitzvot Don’t Require Intention.Itamar Weinshtock Saadon - 2022 - Journal of Analytic Theology 10:76-97.
    According to a prominent view in Jewish-Halakhic literature, “mitzvot (commandments) require intention.” That is, to fulfill one’s obligation in performing a commandment, one must intend to perform the act because it’s a mitzvah; one must take the fact that one’s act is a mitzvah as her reason for doing the action. I argue that thus understood, this Halakhic view faces a revised version of Thomas Hurka’s recent dilemma for structurally similar views in ethics: either it makes it a necessary condition (...)
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  11. Moral laws and moral worth.Elliot Salinger - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (7):2347-2360.
    This essay concerns two forms of moral non-naturalism according to which general moral principles or laws enter into the grounding explanations of particular moral facts. According to bridge-law non-naturalism, the laws are themselves partial grounds of the moral facts; whereas according to grounding-law non-naturalism, the laws explain the grounding connections that obtain between particular natural facts and particular moral facts. I pose and develop an objection to BLNN concerning moral worth: as compared to GLNN, BLNN has trouble accommodating the common (...)
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  12. On Progress: The Role of Race in Kant’s Philosophy of History.Elvira Basevich - 2021 - In Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress ‘The Court of Reason’. Boston: Walter de Gruyter. pp. 1697-1706.
  13. Forgiveness as Conditional: A Reply to Kleinig.Derek R. Brookes - 2021 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (1):117-125.
    In my paper “Moral Grounds for Forgiveness,” I argued that forgiveness is morally appropriate only when a sincere apology is received, thus ruling out the three grounds for unconditional forgiveness suggested by John Kleinig in his paper “Forgiveness and Unconditionality.” In response to his reply “Defending Unconditional Forgiveness,” I argue here that my terminology, once clarified, does not undermine my construal of resentment; that conditional forgiveness is just as discretionary as unconditional forgiveness; and that what we choose to take into (...)
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  14. Moral Grounds for Forgiveness.Derek R. Brookes - 2021 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (1):97-108.
    In this paper, I argue that forgiveness is a morally appropriate response only when it is grounded in the wrongdoer’s demonstration of genuine remorse, their offer of a sincere apology, and, where appropriate, acts of recompense and behavioral change. I then respond to John Kleinig’s suggestion (in his paper “Forgiveness and Unconditionality”) that when an apology is not forthcoming, there are at least three additional grounds that, when motivated by virtues such as love and compassion, could nevertheless render “unconditional forgiveness” (...)
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  15. Moral worth and accidentally right actions.Allen Coates - 2021 - Analysis 81 (3):389-396.
    The reasons view holds that morally worthy actions are right actions motivated by the reasons that make them right. Opponents object that such actions are only accidentally right, and it is widely held that morally worthy actions cannot be accidentally right. My aim here is to defend the reasons view from this objection by considering conditional reasons. Once these reasons are in view, actions motivated by the reasons that make them right will no longer appear accidentally right. Keywords: Moral worth; (...)
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  16. Moral Fetishism and a Third Desire for What’s Right.Nathan Howard - 2021 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 20 (3).
    A major point of debate about morally good motives concerns an ambiguity in the truism that good and strong-willed people desire to do what is right. This debate is shaped by the assumption that “what’s right” combines in only two ways with “desire,” leading to distinct de dicto and de re readings of the truism. However, a third reading of such expressions is possible, first identified by Janet Fodor, which has gone wholly unappreciated by philosophers in this debate. I identify (...)
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  17. Beyond Bad Beliefs.Nathan Robert Howard - 2021 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 18 (5):500-521.
    Philosophers have recently come to focus on explaining the phenomenon of ​bad beliefs,​ beliefs that are apparently true and well-evidenced but nevertheless objectionable. Despite this recent focus, a consensus is already forming around a particular explanation of these beliefs’ badness called ​moral encroachment​, according to which, roughly, the moral stakes engendered by bad beliefs make them particularly difficult to justify. This paper advances an alternative account not just of bad beliefs but of bad attitudes more generally according to which bad (...)
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  18. One Desire Too Many.Nathan Robert Howard - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):302-317.
    I defend the widely-held view that morally worthy action need not be motivated by a desire to promote rightness as such. Some have recently come to reject this view, arguing that desires for rightness as such are necessary for avoiding a certain kind of luck thought incompatible with morally worthy action. I show that those who defend desires for rightness as such on the basis of this argument misunderstand the relationship between moral worth and the kind of luck that their (...)
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  19. Suzy Killmister, Contours of Dignity, Oxford University Press, 2020, 169pp., $64.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198844365. [REVIEW]Grant Rozeboom - 2021 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  20. Suzy Killmister, Contours of Dignity: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020. Hardback ISBN: 9780198844365 €50 192 Pages.Jonathan Seglow - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (5):1265-1267.
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  21. Moral Understanding and Cooperative Testimony.Kenneth Boyd - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):18-33.
    It is has been argued that there is a problem with moral testimony: testimony is deferential, and basing judgments and actions on deferentially acquired knowledge prevents them from having moral worth. What morality perhaps requires of us, then, is that we understand why a proposition is true, but this is something that cannot be acquired through testimony. I argue here that testimony can be both deferential as well as cooperative, and that one can acquire moral understanding through cooperative testimony. The (...)
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  22. Moral Worth: Having It Both Ways.Jessica Isserow - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (10):529-556.
    It is commonly recognized that one can act rightly without being praiseworthy for doing so. Those who act rightly from ignoble motives, for instance, do not strike us as fitting targets of moral praise; their actions seem to lack moral worth. Though there is broad agreement that only certain kinds of motives confer moral worth on our actions, there is disagreement as to which ones are up to the task. Many theorists confine themselves to two possibilities: praiseworthy agents are thought (...)
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  23. Sosa on epistemic value: a Kantian obstacle.Matthew McGrath - 2020 - Synthese 197 (12):5287-5300.
    In recent work, Sosa proposes a comprehensive account of epistemic value based on an axiology for attempts. According to this axiology, an attempt is better if it succeeds, better still if it is apt (i.e., succeeds through competence), and best if it is fully apt, (i.e., guided to aptness by apt beliefs that it would be apt). Beliefs are understood as attempts aiming at the truth. Thus, a belief is better if true, better still if apt, and best if fully (...)
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  24. Moral Worth, Credit, and Non-Accidentality.Keshav Singh - 2020 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol. 10. Oxford University Press.
    This paper defends an account of moral worth. Moral worth is a status that some, but not all, morally right actions have. Unlike with merely right actions, when an agent performs a morally worthy action, she is necessarily creditworthy for doing the right thing. First, I argue that two dominant views of moral worth have been unable to fully capture this necessary connection. On one view, an action is morally worthy if and only if its agent is motivated by the (...)
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  25. The Moral Worth of Intentional Actions.Laura Tomlinson - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (3):704-723.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  26. The Identity-Enactment Account of associative duties.Saba Bazargan-Forward - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2351-2370.
    Associative duties are agent-centered duties to give defeasible moral priority to our special ties. Our strongest associative duties are to close friends and family. According to reductionists, our associative duties are just special duties—i.e., duties arising from what I have done to others, or what others have done to me. These include duties to abide by promises and contracts, compensate our benefactors in ways expressing gratitude, and aid those whom we have made especially vulnerable to our conduct. I argue, though, (...)
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  27. Moral Offsetting.Thomas Foerster - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):617-635.
    This paper explores the idea of moral offsetting: the idea that good actions can offset bad actions in a way roughly analogous to carbon offsetting. For example, a meat eater might try to offset their consumption of meat by donating to an animal welfare charity. In this paper, I clarify the idea of moral offsetting, consider whether the leading moral theories and theories of moral worth are consistent with the possibility of moral offsetting, and consider potential benefits of moral offsetting. (...)
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  28. Accepting Moral Luck.Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - In Ian M. Church & Robert J. Hartman (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Psychology of Luck. New York: Routledge.
    I argue that certain kinds of luck can partially determine an agent’s praiseworthiness and blameworthiness. To make this view clearer, consider some examples. Two identical agents drive recklessly around a curb, and one but not the other kills a pedestrian. Two identical corrupt judges would freely take a bribe if one were offered. Only one judge is offered a bribe, and so only one judge takes a bribe. Put in terms of these examples, I argue that the killer driver and (...)
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  29. Moral Hedging and Responding to Reasons.Amelia Hicks - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):765-789.
    In this paper, I argue that the fetishism objection to moral hedging fails. The objection rests on a reasons-responsiveness account of moral worth, according to which an action has moral worth only if the agent is responsive to moral reasons. However, by adopting a plausible theory of non-ideal moral reasons, one can endorse a reasons-responsiveness account of moral worth while maintaining that moral hedging is sometimes an appropriate response to moral uncertainty. Thus, the theory of moral worth upon which the (...)
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  30. Moral Worth and Doing the Right Thing by Accident.Jessica Isserow - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):251-264.
    ABSTRACTKantian conceptions of moral worth are thought to enjoy an advantage over their rivals in virtue of accommodating two plausible intuitions—that the praiseworthiness of an action is never ac...
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  31. Testimonial worth.Andrew Peet - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2391-2411.
    This paper introduces and argues for the hypothesis that judgments of testimonial worth are central to our practice of normatively appraising speech. It is argued that judgments of testimonial worth are central both to the judgement that an agent has lied, and to the acceptance of testimony. The hypothesis that, in lying, an agent necessarily displays poor testimonial worth, is shown to resolve a new puzzle about lying, and the recalcitrant problem raised by the existence of bald faced lies, and (...)
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  32. Consequentialism and Moral Worth.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (2):117-136.
    Sometimes, agents do the right thing for the right reason. What’s the normative significance of this phenomenon? According to proponents of the special status view, when an agent acts for the right reason, her actions enjoy a special normative status, namely, worthiness. Proponents of this view claim that self-effacing forms of consequentialism cannot say this plausible thing, and, worse, are blocked from having a perspicuous view of matters by the self-effacing nature of their consequentialism. In this paper, I argue that (...)
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  33. Welfare, health, and the moral considerability of nonsentient biological entities.Antoine C. Dussault - 2018 - Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 13 (1):184-209.
    This paper discusses a challenge to the claims made by biocentrists and some ecocentrists that some nonsentient biological entities qualify as candidates for moral considerability. This challenge derives from Wayne Sumner’s critique of “objective theories of welfare” and, in particular, from his critique of biocentrists’ and ecocentrists’ biofunction-based accounts of the “good of their own” of nonsentient biological entities. Sumner’s critique lends support to animal ethicists’ typical skepticism regarding those accounts, by contending that they are more plausibly interpreted as accounts (...)
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  34. Moral Worth and Moral Motivation: Kant’s Real View.Paul Guyer - 2018 - In Sally Sedgwick & Dina Emundts (eds.), Begehren / Desire. De Gruyter. pp. 19-38.
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  35. Experience as Evidence: Pregnancy Loss, Pragmatism, and Fetal Status.Amanda Roth - 2018 - Journal of Social Philosophy 49 (2):270-293.
    In this paper I take up (what I call) the pregnancy loss objection to defenses of abortion that deny fetal moral status. Though versions of this objection have been put forth by others—particularly Lindsey Porter’s in a 2015 paper—I argue that the existing versions of the objection are unsuccessful in various ways: failing to explain the ground of moral considerability that would apply to embryos/fetuses in very early pregnancy, lack of clarity about what it means to take grief after miscarriage (...)
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  36. Moral Worth and Moral Responsibility.Matthé Scholten - 2018 - In Violetta L. Waibel, Margit Ruffing & David Wagner (eds.), Natur Und Freiheit. Akten des Xii. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. De Gruyter. pp. 2165-2172.
  37. Moral Advice and Joint Agency.Eric Wiland - 2018 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, 8. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 102-123.
    There are many alleged problems with trusting another person’s moral testimony, perhaps the most prominent of which is that it fails to deliver moral understanding. Without moral understanding, one cannot do the right thing for the right reason, and so acting on trusted moral testimony lacks moral worth. This chapter, however, argues that moral advice differs from moral testimony, differs from it in a way that enables a defender of moral advice to parry this worry about moral worth. The basic (...)
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  38. Autonomy, Moral Worth, and Right: Kant on Obligatory Ends, Respect for Law, and Original Acquisition.Jeffrey Edwards - 2017 - Boston: De Gruyter.
    This book examines the surprising ramifications of Kant’s late account of practical reason’s obligatory ends as well as a revolutionary implication of his theory of property. It thereby sheds new light on Kant’s place in the history of modern moral philosophy.
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  39. Moral Worth and Moral Hobbies.Jennifer Ryan Lockhart - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4.
    won a shopping spree on her birthday, but the 99-year-old Californian wanted nothing for herself. Instead, she used the opportunity to make well-stuffed holiday stockings for children in need, which she plans to distribute through her church. “I’m going to cry, I’m so happy,” she said last week as she filled her cart with toys and candy, along with essentials like toothbrushes and socks, at a 99-cent store in Beverly Hills. “I feel bad that I can’t do it for every (...)
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  40. The Virtues of Happiness: A Theory of the Good Life. [REVIEW]E. Sonny Elizondo - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (262):181-183.
    A Review of Paul Bloomfield's book _The Virtues of Happiness: A Theory of the Good Life_ (OUP 2014).
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  41. Moral Testimony: Once More with Feeling.Guy Fletcher - 2016 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 11:45-73..
    It is commonly claimed that reliance upon moral testimony is problematic in a way not common to reliance upon non-moral testimony. This chapter provides a new explanation of what the problem consists in—one that enjoys advantages over the most widely accepted explanation in the extant literature. The main theses of the chapter are as follows: that many forms of normative deference beyond the moral are problematic, that there is a common explanation of the problem with all of these forms of (...)
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  42. Moral Worth and Supererogation.Amy Massoud - 2016 - Ethics 126 (3):690-710.
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  43. Moral Worth and Moral Knowledge.Paulina Sliwa - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):393-418.
    To have moral worth an action not only needs to conform to the correct normative theory ; it also needs to be motivated in the right way. I argue that morally worthy actions are motivated by the rightness of the action; they are motivated by an agent's concern for doing what's right and her knowledge that her action is morally right. Call this the Rightness Condition. On the Rightness Condition moral motivation involves both a conative and a cognitive element—in particular, (...)
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  44. Huckleberry FInn Revisited: Inverse Akrasia and Moral Ignorance".Arpaly Nomy - 2015 - In Randolph Clarcke Michael Mckenna & Angela M. Smith (eds.), The Nature of Moral Responsibility. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 141-156.
    This paper argue that moral ignorance does not excuse. Nobody is off the hook for doing something bad simply because she did it believing ii to be right. The paper uses the Arpaly view that cases of Akrasia can be praiseworthy as one premise in the argument.
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  45. Moral Worth and Normative Ethics.Arpaly Nomy - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 5.
    According to Arpaly and to Markovits, actions have moral worth iff they are done for the reasons that make them right. Can this view have implications for normative ethics? I argue that it has such implications, as you can start from truths about the moral worth of actions to truths about the reasons that make them right. What makes actions right is the question of normative ethics. I argue from the moral worth view to a pluralistic view of ethics - (...)
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  46. The Relationship Between Effort and Moral Worth: Three Amendments to Sorensen’s Model.Thomas Douglas - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (2):325-334.
    Kelly Sorensen defends a model of the relationship between effort and moral worth in which the effort exerted in performing a morally desirable action contributes positively to the action’s moral worth, but the effort required to perform the action detracts from its moral worth. I argue that Sorensen’s model, though on the right track, is mistaken in three ways. First, it fails to capture the relevance of counterfactual effort to moral worth. Second, it wrongly implies that exerting unnecessary effort confers (...)
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  47. Counterfactual Situations and Moral Worth.Kelly Sorensen - 2014 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 11 (3):294-319.
    What is the relevance to praiseworthiness and blameworthiness of what one would have done in other, counterfactual circumstances? I defend a moderate form of actualism: what one would have done is important, but less so than what one actually does.
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  48. Against equal respect and concern, equal rights, and egalitarian impartiality.Uwe Steinhoff - 2014 - In Do All Persons Have Equal Moral Worth? On "Basic Equality" and Equal Respect and Concern. Oxford University Press. pp. 142-172.
    I argue that the often-heard claim that all serious present-day political philosophers subscribe to the principle of equal respect and concern or to the doctrine of equal moral status or are in some other fundamental sense egalitarians is wrong. Also wrong is the further claim that the usual methods currently used in political philosophy presuppose basic equality. I further argue that liberal egalitarianism itself is wrong. There is no universal duty “of equal respect and concern” towards every person, for one (...)
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  49. Do All Persons Have Equal Moral Worth?: On 'Basic Equality' and Equal Respect and Concern.Uwe Steinhoff (ed.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    In present-day political and moral philosophy the idea that all persons are in some way moral equals is an almost universal premise, with its defenders often claiming that philosophical positions that reject the principle of equal respect and concern do not deserve to be taken seriously. This has led to relatively few attempts to clarify, or indeed justify, 'basic equality' and the principle of equal respect and concern. Such clarification and justification, however, would be direly needed. After all, the ideas, (...)
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  50. Enhancing Moral Conformity and Enhancing Moral Worth.Thomas Douglas - 2013 - Neuroethics 7 (1):75-91.
    It is plausible that we have moral reasons to become better at conforming to our moral reasons. However, it is not always clear what means to greater moral conformity we should adopt. John Harris has recently argued that we have reason to adopt traditional, deliberative means in preference to means that alter our affective or conative states directly—that is, without engaging our deliberative faculties. One of Harris’ concerns about direct means is that they would produce only a superficial kind of (...)
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