Moral Philosophy: Points for Reflection

12Oct07

1. How can philosophers justify their claims to deal with ethical issues in a distinctive and useful way? What is distinctive about a philosophical, rather than historical or social-scientific approach to morality?

2. Consider the problem of moral motivation. Why should one be moral? Sometimes it seems as if acting ‘morally’ can be against our own interests. Why should we give to charity, if we could spend our money on furthering our own happiness? If we are cynical about received morality – believing that it is just a matter of indoctrination and upbringing – then shouldn’t we be especially suspicious of ideas like ‘doing the right thing’ and so on? Or are there other reasons for acting morally?

3. Is it possible that there could be someone who was completely without morals? How would they behave?

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