Moral dilemmas. A contribution to the debate, with Plutarch in the background

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Jacek Jaśtal

Abstract

The article presents the basic controversy concerning the existence of moral dilemmas. The dominant interpretation of the issue of moral dilemmas within the traditional ethics of principles tends to exclude the possibility of such conflicts by (a) treating them as conflicts of another type, (b) invoking the possibility of creating a hierarchy of obligations, (c) elaborating a different interpretation of emotional phenomena.

One of the principal contemporary alternatives to the ethics of principles is the so-called ethics of virtues. The author attempts to show that according to the latter moral dilemmas must be interpreted as conflicts between desires in situations where even the most virtuous individual is unable to determine whether his desires in fact follow from virtues. The essence of moral dilemmas in this understanding, then, seems to be the issue of knowing one’s nature and the impossibility in some situations of eliminating apprehensions about one’s own moral character.

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How to Cite
JAŚTAL, J. Moral dilemmas. A contribution to the debate, with Plutarch in the background. Diametros, n. 2, p. 18-38, 1 Dec. 2004.
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Author Biography

Jacek Jaśtal, Politechnika Krakowska

Politechnika Krakowska
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