Inescapable Wrongdoing and the Coherence of Morality: An Examination of Moral Dilemmas
Jackson, Vincent Patrick
MetadataShow full item record
In this thesis, I propose an argument against the possibility of moral dilemmas, which I construe as situations in which moral wrongdoing is inescapable. The first chapter addresses some terminological matters and attempts to sort out the main issues of contention between proponents and opponents of moral dilemmas. The second chapter lays out my argument, which I dub the â Argument from Action-Guidingness,â against proponents of moral dilemmas. Negative moral judgments of the sort â X is wrongâ typically carry with them the implication that X ought not to be done. If judgments of wrongness always have this action-guiding force, then moral dilemmas, which say that all courses of action available to the agent are morally wrong, threaten morality with incoherence. To avoid this problem, proponents of dilemmas will be forced to abandon the action-guiding implications of negative moral judgments when dilemmas arise. But this move is not without its own difficulties, which I elucidate. The final chapter identifies flaws in two prominent arguments in favor of dilemmas: the argument from moral distress and the argument from incommensurable values. The latter half of the chapter examines Sayre-McCordâ s â fairness argumentâ against dilemmas, and contrasts it with the argument from action-guidingness.
- Masters Theses 
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Johnson, Jennie Susan (Virginia Tech, 2007-04-17)The present research in ethical decision-making draws from the fields of moral philosophy, social psychology, and organizational theory with the intention of establishing links among social/organizational influences, ...
Sexualities and Conflicting Moralities at Work: An Empirical Test of Black\'s Theory of Moral Time Barlow, Angela Michelle (Virginia Tech, 2013-05-09)This dissertation provides an empirical test of the relational dimension of Donald Black\'s theory of moral time. In Moral Time, Black (2011) aims to explain the causal mechanism of conflict within and across cultures, ...
Lindsey, Johnathan Matthew (Virginia Tech, 2017-03-02)How should we understand the question "Why be moral?" Can we answer this question? If so, how? In this paper I develop an exemplarist theory of practical moral justification; that is, a theory of the justification of the ...