Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 579–580 | Cite as

Héctor Wittwer, Ist es vernünftig, moralisch zu handeln?

de Gruyter, Berlin, 2010, ISBN: 978-3-11-022790-1, 423 pages, 64,95 EUR
  • Fabian Wendt

Sometimes it is not in our self-interest to do what we are morally required to do: Prudential reasons and moral reasons can conflict (9, 326ff.). This, at least, is a common sense belief. But if prudential and moral reasons can conflict, is it plausible to claim that it is (always) reasonable to act morally? This is Héctor Wittwer’s guiding question in his new book “Ist es vernünftig, moralisch zu handeln?”

In the first chapter, the question whether it is reasonable to act morally is clarified in several ways. Wittwer explains that he is not asking for a justification of morality (21). Rather, he is asking whether it is reasonable to follow some given uncontroversial moral norms like the norms prescribing not to humiliate, cheat, harm, rape, or murder people, and to help people in urgent need (22). If it were always reasonable to act morally—and always unreasonable to act immorally—, immoral persons could be shown to make some cognitive mistakein not following morality (31f.). What...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universität Hamburg, Philosophisches SeminarHamburgGermany

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