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Moral justification

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-L054-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 13, 2024, from

Article Summary

Questions of justification arise in moral philosophy in at least three ways. The first concerns the way in which particular moral claims, such as claims about right and wrong, can be shown to be correct. Virtually every moral theory offers its own account of moral justification in this sense, and these accounts naturally differ from each other. A second question is about the justification of morality as a whole – about how to answer the question, ‘Why be moral?’ Philosophers have disagreed about this, and about whether an answer is even possible. Finally, some philosophers have claimed that justification of our actions to others is a central aim of moral thinking. They maintain that this aim provides answers to the other two questions of justification by explaining the reasons we have to be moral and the particular form that justification takes within moral argument.

Citing this article:
Scanlon, T.M.. Moral justification, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-L054-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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