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The Moral Traveler: Value and Virtue

  • Sep 6, 2012 · 7:00 PM
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What facts of reality give rise to the concept of morality?

This is a metaethical question. Let's examine one component of the answer by looking more closely at the moral doer or actor, i.e., at the metaphorical traveler with his compass and map. Who is he, where is he going, and how is he getting there? The metaphysical ideas underlying the conception of the moral actor include life, death, growth, progress, fellowship, oneness, alienation, stagnation, perfection. Brief special mentions include relativism, postmodernism, identity, character, habit, (moral) communitarianism.

The bonus question to ask, if we finish early, is, can the various ethical systems be classified metaethically on the basis of destinations?

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  • Tom O.

    We had a great discussion on the nature of the moral actor, i.e., of not only his capacities to know, choose, err and act, but also how (and how well) he exercises those capacities to achieve his goals. Among the long-term goals discussed, we talked about the final goal--which isn't the same as a last breath of air or a last meal--but the ultimate, overarching goal, and whether it is conceivable and achievable. This led to two controversies: the relation of virtue to value and whether one can lead to the other, and the notion of perfection as it applies to the moral actor. I think we should revisit "perfection" next time.

    September 7, 2012

  • Camilia S.

    Positive energy exchange.

    September 6, 2012

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