Another pluralist approach to ethics
December 1, 2011
This past May, I argued on this blog for a pluralist approach to ethics. From my essay:
The idea I would like to propose is that while each ethical system discussed so far has its shortcomings, we can assemble a mature moral outlook by piecing together parts of each of the different systems put forth by philosophers over the centuries.
I proceeded to build a framework that incudes the harm principle, rights theory, Kantian obligation, and virtue ethics.
My colleague on the blog Rationally Speaking, Ian Pollock, has now entered his own attempt at a pluralist ethic: “the ugly theory that could.” Pollock’s article is much longer than mine, though that provides him more room to flesh out his theory. Most importantly, however, we agree on his main point:
… in order to actually make your way in this world as an agent who is sincerely attempting to do the right thing, you’re going to have to use the vocabulary and concepts of consequentialism, deontology and virtue ethics, or your understanding will be impoverished.
You can read the full post here.
What are your thoughts?