Thursday, December 28, 2006

GRIFFIN: 3 well-being and morality/4 Ethical push and pull

Ethical push and pull do not meet necessarily: further arguments:

Though living a life of point and weight and of conformity to values generally may be seen as prudential values, it is hard to see how their value, purely prudentially, could be greater than a good life itself – if it came to the terribly hard choice between morality and survival. Moral reasons and practical reasons overall might outweigh prudential ones in such a case, but identifiably prudential ones still would be in conflict with them” [What makes these reasons identifiably prudential?]

It is not that death could never be better than dishonour, but rather that it is hard any longer to see the relevant notion of dishonour solely under the heading of prudence – it has to be something lesss hedged in than that.” 160-161

[But Griffin is conscious of the difficulty:]

This does, however, call for some qualification. Since morality penetrates prudence, so making the prudence/morality dualism hard to maintain, my talk about 'identifiably prudential reasons is not entirely satisfactory; prudential reason run, without boundary, into moral ones” (161)

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