Moral Decision Guides: Counsels of Morality or Counsels of Rationality?
Holly Smith (Rutgers University - New Brunswick), Holly Smith (Rutgers University - New Brunswick)

part of: Mistakes, Ignorance, and Blameworthiness
September 2, 2020, 6:15pm - 7:15pm
Roots of Responsibility

United Kingdom

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  • European Research Council



Abstract:  Many moral philosophers advocate the use of decision guides (such as "Maximize expected value" or "Do what's most likely to be right") to help agents make decisions when they are uncertain about the circumstances or consequences of their actions. Such decision guides enable agents to apply their moral theory indirectly to their choices when direct application is impossible. But what are these decision guides?  Some theorists view them as a special kind of moral principle, while others view them as generic principles of rational choice.  In this paper I explore this debate, and argue that the decision guides used to make moral decisions  must be accepted as a special kind of moral principle.

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