more from Rosalind Hursthouse

Single Idea 4353

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / c. Motivation for virtue]

Full Idea

If you are inclined to think that 'moral motivation', acting because you think it is right, must be an all-or-nothing matter, its presence determined by the agent's mind at the moment of acting, do, please, remember children.

Gist of Idea

If moral motivation is an all-or-nothing sense of duty, how can children act morally?


Rosalind Hursthouse (On Virtue Ethics [1999], Ch.7)

Book Reference

Hursthouse,Rosalind: 'On Virtue Ethics' [OUP 2001], p.144

A Reaction

I agree about the vital importance of remembering children when discussing morality. However, Kantians might legitimately claim that when a child is simply trained to behave well, it has not yet reached the age of true morality.