List journal issues    
 
 
Home List journal issues Table of contents Subscribe to APQ

Article

Volume 52 • Number 2

April 2015



 

 

A Realistic Practical Conclusion


by Patricio A Fernandez

At least for those who uphold the rationality of morality, ethics and practical reason are not two distinct topics: an ethically sound agent is one whose practical reason functions as it should. Take, for instance, the greatest historical figures. Aristotle claimed that no virtue of character can exist without practical wisdom—the excellence of practical, deliberative reason. And Kant thought that the categorical imperative, the ultimate moral principle that governs a good will, was at the same time the fundamental principlof practical reasoning because the will simply is practical reason.

Even before any philosophical theory of the connection between acting well and the exercise of a rational power is in view, our moral practices strongly suggest that there is one. For we take it for granted that, in an important range of cases, when an agent fails to act as she should, something has gone awry with the agent and not just with her acts, and, furthermore, that the agent herself may be held responsible for this. In calling an agent who acts unethically "irrational," we are saying these two things.


view PDF
 

 

 

 
Home | Issue Index
 
© 2015 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Content in American Philosophical Quarterly is intended for personal, noncommercial use only. You may not reproduce, publish, distribute, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale of, modify, create derivative works from, display, or in any way exploit the American Philosophical Quarterly database in whole or in part without the written permission of the copyright holder.

American Philosophical Quarterly is published by the University of Illinois Press on behalf of North American Philosophical Publications.

ISSN: 2152-1123