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Shafer Landau And Korsgaard Essay

1616 words - 7 pages

Humanity is taught to be moral, to do good and avoid evil. However those lessons become foolish when we ask what is morality, the thing that we are told to achieve. For many morality is doing what is good and doing good is moral. This roundabout answer may be satisfactory to some that only look at the surface of the issue, however once the digging begins the grad question of morality comes into question. While this question has been looked an infinite number of times without being universally solved certain patterns have been made in the conclusions great thinkers and scholars come to regarding morality. One of these particular ideas involves a rationalist perspective that rationality defines morality or that moral failings imply rational failings. This concept is supported by Shafer-Landau and Korsgaard while thinkers like Williams and Foot disagree with such a claim. It should be understood that morality and rationality are intertwined were a moral failing correlates with a rational failing.
Rush Shafer-Landau believes that to act morally is to act rationally due to his core belief involving moral desire and duty. He believes that an individual’s moral obligations endorse reasons for actions that fallow that particular moral need. Therefor an individual has reason to do what is moral.( Shafer-Landau, 2007). Many of the argument used to support his ideas involve real world application and thought experiments. When he states “When we deem someone’s behaviour morally unjustified, we imply that he has violated a standard of appropriate conduct. Suppose such standards did not by themselves supply reasons for action. Then we would be forced to allow that though some actions are unjustified, immoral, improper, illegitimate, or inappropriate, there nevertheless may be no reason at all to avoid them.”( Shafer-Landau, 2007) Shafer-Landau sees an inherent problem with this. Not only does it seem unfair and unjust but the mere thought of trying to rationalize something like this is confusing even in its simplest form. What is being said hear is the most basic argument but forth for rationality being part of morality. The argument supposes that the use of rationality seems to be the only rational way to look at the world. While this way of thinking can be argued against and may suffer from the is/ought fallacy it does present a very strait forward argument. Opposing viewpoints can put arguments together but they lack the simplicity that is seen here. He also tackles the arguments of variances in individual’s rationality, actions and beliefs that seek to undermined the realism used by Shafer-Landau as the foundation for his moral rationalism. Shafer-Landau argues that such variances do not have the unsettling force required to dethrone realism. He believes realism can accommodate disagreement between the idealised individuals that represent moral perfection. This can be so due to the idea that plurality can both exist and exist equally within morality as...

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