Motive and Rightness is the first book-length attempt to answer the question: Does the motive of an action ever make a difference to whether that action is morally right or wrong? Steven Sverdlik argues that the answer is yes. He examines the major ...
contemporary moral theories to see if they can provide a plausible account of the relevance of motives to rightness and wrongness, and argues that consequentialism gives a better account of these matters than Kantianism or certain important forms of virtue ethics. In carrying out the investigation Sverdlik presents an analysis of the nature of motives, and he considers their relations to normative judgments and intentions. A chapter is devoted to analyzing the extent to which motives are 'available' to rational agents, and the importance of feelings and unconscious motives. Historical figures such as Kant, Bentham, Mill and Ross are discussed, as well as contemporary writers like Korsgaard, Herman, Hurka, Slote and Hursthouse. Motive and Rightness offers an original interweaving of ethical theory, both historical and contemporary, with moral psychology, action theory, and psychology.
Number of pages: 224
Date of publication: 27/01/2011
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