Moral Weakness

Philosophy 50 (193):295 - 310 (1975)
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Abstract

Discussions of moral weakness in recent and even not so recent ethics have generally neglected large areas of the moral life. In some cases, it may be argued, such neglect has been accidental in that the philosopher or philosophers concerned have set out to examine problems thrown up by a class or classes of actions without purporting to present an exhaustive account of moral weakness. In other cases such neglect is pernicious in that if not designed to protect a certain philosophical position it has by the doctrinaire delimitation of the range of examples considered had precisely that effect. This delimitation has often arisen out of unexamined presuppositions as to the nature of moral weakness. They are embodied in the following general framework suggested as an account not of some cases of weakness but of all cases: In a case of weakness a man does something that he knows or believes he should not do, or fails to do something that he knows or believes he should do, when the occasion and the opportunity for acting or refraining is present, and when it is in his power, in some significant sense, to act in accordance with his knowledge or belief

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Citations of this work

Perspectives on Self-Deception.Brian P. McLaughlin & Amélie Oksenberg Rorty (eds.) - 1988 - University of California Press.
Bibliography.Uma Narayan - 1988 - In Brian P. McLaughlin & Amélie Oksenberg Rorty (eds.), Perspectives on Self-Deception. University of California Press. pp. 553-558.

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References found in this work

Plato's Protagoras and Explanations of Weakness.Gerasimos Santas - 1966 - Philosophical Review 75 (1):3-33.
Remorse.I. Thalberg - 1963 - Mind 72 (288):545-555.

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