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How can we be moral when we are so irrational?

Sahlin, Nils-Eric LU and Brännmark, Johan LU (2013) In Logique et Analyse p.101-126
Abstract
Normative ethics usually presupposes background accounts of human agency, and although different ethical theorists might have different pictures of human agency in mind, there is still something like a standard account that most of mainstream normative ethics can be understood to rest on. Ethical theorists tend to have Rational Man, or at least some close relative to him, in mind when constructing normative theories. It will be argued here that empirical fndings raise doubts about the accuracy of this kind of account; human beings fall too far short of ideals of rationality for it to be meaningful to devise normative ideals within such a framework. Instead, it is suggested, normative ethics could be conducted more proftably if the idea of... (More)
Normative ethics usually presupposes background accounts of human agency, and although different ethical theorists might have different pictures of human agency in mind, there is still something like a standard account that most of mainstream normative ethics can be understood to rest on. Ethical theorists tend to have Rational Man, or at least some close relative to him, in mind when constructing normative theories. It will be argued here that empirical fndings raise doubts about the accuracy of this kind of account; human beings fall too far short of ideals of rationality for it to be meaningful to devise normative ideals within such a framework. Instead, it is suggested, normative ethics could be conducted more proftably if the idea of unifying all ethical concerns into one theoretical account is abandoned. Such a disunity of ethical theorizing would then match the disunited and heuristic-oriented nature of our agency. Some preliminary suggestions about what ethical theorizing might look like instead are provided here along with some remarks about how these relate to other approaches in the literature. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
moral, irrationality
in
Logique et Analyse
issue
221
pages
101 - 126
publisher
Centre national belge de recherche de logique
external identifiers
  • wos:000326254000007
  • scopus:84876193019
ISSN
0024-5836
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ddff61ca-d476-4212-8ac0-573509e42c99 (old id 4215955)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 14:10:18
date last changed
2020-01-12 15:07:22
@article{ddff61ca-d476-4212-8ac0-573509e42c99,
  abstract     = {Normative ethics usually presupposes background accounts of human agency, and although different ethical theorists might have different pictures of human agency in mind, there is still something like a standard account that most of mainstream normative ethics can be understood to rest on. Ethical theorists tend to have Rational Man, or at least some close relative to him, in mind when constructing normative theories. It will be argued here that empirical fndings raise doubts about the accuracy of this kind of account; human beings fall too far short of ideals of rationality for it to be meaningful to devise normative ideals within such a framework. Instead, it is suggested, normative ethics could be conducted more proftably if the idea of unifying all ethical concerns into one theoretical account is abandoned. Such a disunity of ethical theorizing would then match the disunited and heuristic-oriented nature of our agency. Some preliminary suggestions about what ethical theorizing might look like instead are provided here along with some remarks about how these relate to other approaches in the literature.},
  author       = {Sahlin, Nils-Eric and Brännmark, Johan},
  issn         = {0024-5836},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {221},
  pages        = {101--126},
  publisher    = {Centre national belge de recherche de logique},
  series       = {Logique et Analyse},
  title        = {How can we be moral when we are so irrational?},
  year         = {2013},
}