, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 289-302
Date: 05 Oct 2012

Judgment, Deliberation, and the Self-effacement of Moral Theory

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Introduction

In developing moral theories, philosophers seek to fulfill at least two tasks: to guide moral judgment and to guide moral deliberation. In moral judgment, moral agents assess moral status. In moral deliberation, moral agents decide how to act. It is important to work out how these two things are related. One suggestion is to posit a direct connection between them according to which moral agents are required to deliberate in terms of correct moral judgment. There are various ways of spelling out this requirement. For example, moral agents might be required to rank prospective actions according to a correct moral judgment of them and choose the highest ranked action. Moral agents would thus be required to choose the morally best action available to them. Alternatively, moral agents might be required to separate prospective actions into those that are permissible actions and those that are impermissible and choose, perhaps on non-moral grounds, from the class of morally permis