Taking Seriously the Challenges of Agent-Centered Morality

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Agent-centered morality has been a serious challenge to ethical theories based on agent-neutral morality in defining what is the moral point of view. In this paper, my concern is to examine whether arguments for agent-centered morality, in particular, arguments for agent-centered option, can be justified. -/- After critically examining three main arguments for agent-centered morality, I will contend that although there is a ring of truth in the demands of agent-centered morality, agent-centered morality is more problematic than agent-neutral morality. Nevertheless, we need to take seriously the challenges to agent-neutral morality by finding a way to reflect the insight of agent-centered morality within the framework of agent-neutral morality without collapsing it into agent-centered morality. As a way of doing so, I suggest that we need to integrate the situated, rather than transcendental, nonideal, rather than idealized, and dialogical, rather than monological, perspectives developed in feminist ethics, into agent-neutral morality.



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Hye-Ryoung Kang
University of Colorado, Boulder

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Moral saints.Susan Wolf - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (8):419-439.
The schizophrenia of modern ethical theories.Michael Stocker - 1976 - Journal of Philosophy 73 (14):453-466.
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Moral Saints.Susan Wolf - 1982 - In Roger Crisp & Michael Slote (eds.), Virtue Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Reply to Habermas.John Rawls - 1995 - Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):132-180.

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