Our ethically informed choice of action is situated in time. However, the question of time is seldom explicitly addressed in publications on ethics. This essay is a tentative comment as a contribution to fill that gap.

NOW has a central position in our choice of action. It is our first step into the FUTURE. This cannot be only a timeless investigation. Our ethical reflection may also involve a vision of the future we want, a tool to assist our decisions. The discussion in ethical theory as well as in applied ethics is often of a general and abstract character. I suggest that we should see such abstractions as tools in an ethical toolbox, rather than timeless or objective justifications. Autonomy in reasons and actions demands self-authorized coherence over time, but also openness to slow changes.


Action Applied ethics Autonomy Consequences Dilemma Ethical theory Ethics Time Timelessness Vision 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Theology and Religious StudiesLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Religious StudiesJönköping UniversityJönköpingSweden

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