The Monist 54 (1):31-39 (1970)

Let us understand at the outset that by “morally good” we mean the state of possessing what is generally regarded as good character, rooted in virtue, in the broad sense of this term that embraces a variety of particular virtues such as courage, justice, temperance and the like. It is the meaning behind such popular expressions as ‘he is a man of upright character’, ‘a solid citizen’, or, simply, ‘he is a good man’. Let us understand by ‘morally right’ the individually right or good actions a man performs, as in such expressions as ‘he acted bravely’, ‘he made the right decision’, or, simply, ‘he did the right thing’. How closely are the two related? Presumably, being morally good and doing what is morally right cannot be identified, though one is ever tempted to wonder why not. Yet we know from the experience of others, if not of ourselves, that a morally good man is quite capable of not doing what is morally right, and often enough does not. On the other hand, there clearly seems to be some connection between being morally good and doing the morally right thing, even allowing for the fact that an admittedly bad man, in the moral sense, can do the right thing at times.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest  Philosophy of Mind  Philosophy of Science
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ISBN(s) 0026-9662
DOI 10.5840/monist19705418
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