Moral demands, moral pragmatics, and being good

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


I point out an odd consequence of the role that broadly pragmatic considerations regularly (and reasonably) play in determining moral demands. As a result of the way in which moral demands are formed, it turns out that people will frequently become morally good in a strange and rather dubious way. Because human beings are not very good, we will lower our moral demands and, as a result, most people will turn out, in an important sense, to be morally good. Our relative badness, by giving us good reasons to limit moral demands, makes us morally good.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-308
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science


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