Vice, reasons, and wrongdoing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Does justified belief that acting in a certain way would be vicious furnish a
reason against acting in that way? Is this a special kind of reason, distinct
from other kinds of moral reason? Can it form the basis for a theory of right
action? In this chapter, I explore positive answers to each of these questions.

1. Virtues, Vices, and the Moral Middle
Let me set out a series of assumptions that guide my answers. Aretaic judgment
takes the form of both judgment of character and judgment of action.
My initial assumption is that virtues and vices are broadly structured into
trichotomies. An action or a trait can be virtuous or vicious or neither virtuous
nor vicious. An act of helping or of not helping might be generous or
selfish, or neither generous nor selfish. We may encounter situations which
force a dichotomy upon us—situations where the moral middle disappears
and our actions can only be virtuous or vicious—but this is not the invariable,
or even ordinary, run of things. Traits may seem to invite dichotomous
judgment: that a person is either considerate of others or not considerate
of them; courageous or not courageous; temperate or intemperate; a dedicated
and professional colleague or a lazy, distracted and unprofessional
colleague. People seem either to have integrity or to lack it. Generally, however,
these cases involve an implicit third term. A person may be neither
especially temperate nor especially intemperate; they may be considerate to
others to a substantial degree, often, but not always, and not especially so.
Integrity is something we possess in degrees.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVirtue's reasons
Subtitle of host publicationNew essays on virtue, character, and reasons
EditorsN Birondo, S Stewart
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Pages49-64
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781315314242
ISBN (Print)9781138231733
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Fingerprint

Wrongdoing
Person
Integrity
Moral Reasons
Dichotomy
Justified Belief

Cite this

Cox, D. (2017). Vice, reasons, and wrongdoing. In N. Birondo, & S. Stewart (Eds.), Virtue's reasons: New essays on virtue, character, and reasons (pp. 49-64). Taylor & Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315314259
Cox, Damian. / Vice, reasons, and wrongdoing. Virtue's reasons: New essays on virtue, character, and reasons. editor / N Birondo ; S Stewart. Taylor & Francis, 2017. pp. 49-64
@inbook{1b3888f8d17445a894a7847be20b9c9d,
title = "Vice, reasons, and wrongdoing",
abstract = "Does justified belief that acting in a certain way would be vicious furnish areason against acting in that way? Is this a special kind of reason, distinctfrom other kinds of moral reason? Can it form the basis for a theory of rightaction? In this chapter, I explore positive answers to each of these questions.1. Virtues, Vices, and the Moral MiddleLet me set out a series of assumptions that guide my answers. Aretaic judgmenttakes the form of both judgment of character and judgment of action.My initial assumption is that virtues and vices are broadly structured intotrichotomies. An action or a trait can be virtuous or vicious or neither virtuousnor vicious. An act of helping or of not helping might be generous orselfish, or neither generous nor selfish. We may encounter situations whichforce a dichotomy upon us—situations where the moral middle disappearsand our actions can only be virtuous or vicious—but this is not the invariable,or even ordinary, run of things. Traits may seem to invite dichotomousjudgment: that a person is either considerate of others or not considerateof them; courageous or not courageous; temperate or intemperate; a dedicatedand professional colleague or a lazy, distracted and unprofessionalcolleague. People seem either to have integrity or to lack it. Generally, however,these cases involve an implicit third term. A person may be neitherespecially temperate nor especially intemperate; they may be considerate toothers to a substantial degree, often, but not always, and not especially so.Integrity is something we possess in degrees.",
author = "Damian Cox",
note = "DOI links to host publication - Book (Scholarly Edition)",
year = "2017",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.4324/9781315314259",
language = "English",
isbn = "9781138231733",
pages = "49--64",
editor = "N Birondo and S Stewart",
booktitle = "Virtue's reasons",
publisher = "Taylor & Francis",
address = "United Kingdom",

}

Cox, D 2017, Vice, reasons, and wrongdoing. in N Birondo & S Stewart (eds), Virtue's reasons: New essays on virtue, character, and reasons. Taylor & Francis, pp. 49-64. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315314259

Vice, reasons, and wrongdoing. / Cox, Damian.

Virtue's reasons: New essays on virtue, character, and reasons. ed. / N Birondo; S Stewart. Taylor & Francis, 2017. p. 49-64.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

TY - CHAP

T1 - Vice, reasons, and wrongdoing

AU - Cox, Damian

N1 - DOI links to host publication - Book (Scholarly Edition)

PY - 2017/1/1

Y1 - 2017/1/1

N2 - Does justified belief that acting in a certain way would be vicious furnish areason against acting in that way? Is this a special kind of reason, distinctfrom other kinds of moral reason? Can it form the basis for a theory of rightaction? In this chapter, I explore positive answers to each of these questions.1. Virtues, Vices, and the Moral MiddleLet me set out a series of assumptions that guide my answers. Aretaic judgmenttakes the form of both judgment of character and judgment of action.My initial assumption is that virtues and vices are broadly structured intotrichotomies. An action or a trait can be virtuous or vicious or neither virtuousnor vicious. An act of helping or of not helping might be generous orselfish, or neither generous nor selfish. We may encounter situations whichforce a dichotomy upon us—situations where the moral middle disappearsand our actions can only be virtuous or vicious—but this is not the invariable,or even ordinary, run of things. Traits may seem to invite dichotomousjudgment: that a person is either considerate of others or not considerateof them; courageous or not courageous; temperate or intemperate; a dedicatedand professional colleague or a lazy, distracted and unprofessionalcolleague. People seem either to have integrity or to lack it. Generally, however,these cases involve an implicit third term. A person may be neitherespecially temperate nor especially intemperate; they may be considerate toothers to a substantial degree, often, but not always, and not especially so.Integrity is something we possess in degrees.

AB - Does justified belief that acting in a certain way would be vicious furnish areason against acting in that way? Is this a special kind of reason, distinctfrom other kinds of moral reason? Can it form the basis for a theory of rightaction? In this chapter, I explore positive answers to each of these questions.1. Virtues, Vices, and the Moral MiddleLet me set out a series of assumptions that guide my answers. Aretaic judgmenttakes the form of both judgment of character and judgment of action.My initial assumption is that virtues and vices are broadly structured intotrichotomies. An action or a trait can be virtuous or vicious or neither virtuousnor vicious. An act of helping or of not helping might be generous orselfish, or neither generous nor selfish. We may encounter situations whichforce a dichotomy upon us—situations where the moral middle disappearsand our actions can only be virtuous or vicious—but this is not the invariable,or even ordinary, run of things. Traits may seem to invite dichotomousjudgment: that a person is either considerate of others or not considerateof them; courageous or not courageous; temperate or intemperate; a dedicatedand professional colleague or a lazy, distracted and unprofessionalcolleague. People seem either to have integrity or to lack it. Generally, however,these cases involve an implicit third term. A person may be neitherespecially temperate nor especially intemperate; they may be considerate toothers to a substantial degree, often, but not always, and not especially so.Integrity is something we possess in degrees.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85024877055&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.4324/9781315314259

DO - 10.4324/9781315314259

M3 - Chapter

SN - 9781138231733

SP - 49

EP - 64

BT - Virtue's reasons

A2 - Birondo, N

A2 - Stewart, S

PB - Taylor & Francis

ER -

Cox D. Vice, reasons, and wrongdoing. In Birondo N, Stewart S, editors, Virtue's reasons: New essays on virtue, character, and reasons. Taylor & Francis. 2017. p. 49-64 https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315314259