[SydPhil] Matthew Hammerton: Three Fault Lines in Ethics Thursday @ 3.00

Kristie Miller kristie_miller at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 2 12:19:09 AEST 2018

Three Fault Lines in Ethics

When classifying moral theories, which categories are most fundamental? A traditional answer to this question divides moral theories into consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics. However, I argue that this division is non-exclusive, non-exhaustive, and unhelpful because it conflates different areas of concern in moral theorizing. I then suggest that there are three fundamental distinctions (or fault lines) we should use to classify moral theories. They are the relative/neutral fault line, the normative priority fault line, and the value-maximizing/non-maximizing fault line. Each of these fault lines is logically independent of the others, and each reflects a different area of concern in moral theory. Furthermore, thinking of moral theories in terms of these fault lines can help us to clarify old debates (e.g. between utilitarians and Kantians), see new theoretical possibilities, and make progress in comparative ethics.

The Muniment Room, Philosophy Department, University of Sydney.

Associate Professor Kristie Miller
ARC Future Fellow
Joint Director, the Centre for Time
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry and
The Centre for Time
The University of Sydney
Sydney Australia
Room S212, A 14

kmiller at usyd.edu.au
kristie_miller at yahoo.com
Ph: +612 9036 9663

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