Virtue Ethics and Repugnant Conclusions

ENVIRONMENTAL VIRTUE ETHICS, Philip Cafaro and Ronald Sandler, eds., Rowman and Littlefield, 2004

17 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2008  

Matt Zwolinski

University of San Diego; University of San Diego School of Law

David Schmidtz

Independent

Abstract

Both utilitarian and deontological moral theories locate the source of our moral beliefs in the wrong sorts of considerations. One way this failure manifests itself, we argue, is in the ways these theories analyze the proper human relationship toward the non-human environment. Another, more notorious, manifestation of this failure is found in Derek Parfit's Repugnant Conclusion. Our goal is to explore the connection between these two failures, and to suggest that they are failures of act-centered moral theories in general. As such, they cannot be fixed by simply developing a better version of such a theory. Virtue-based theories, we suggest, provide a more promising alternative.

Keywords: Environmental Ethics, Environmentalism, Thomas Hill, Derek Parfit, Utilitarianism, Deontology, Repugnant Conclusion, Virtue Ethics, Virtue Theory

Suggested Citation

Zwolinski, Matt and Schmidtz, David, Virtue Ethics and Repugnant Conclusions. ENVIRONMENTAL VIRTUE ETHICS, Philip Cafaro and Ronald Sandler, eds., Rowman and Littlefield, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1080703

Matt Zwolinski

University of San Diego ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
619-260-4094 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sandiego.edu/~mzwolinski

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States

David Schmidtz (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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