Analiza i Egzystencja

ISSN: 1734-9923     eISSN: 2300-7621    OAI    DOI: 10.18276/aie.2017.39-04

Issue archive / 39 (2017)
Granice autonomii etyki. O potrzebie uwzględniania wyników nauk empirycznych w etyce (The limits of ethics autonomy. Ethics takes into account the empirycal data)
(The limits of ethics autonomy. Ethics takes into account the empirycal data)

Authors: Natasza Szutta
Uniwersytet Gdański
Keywords: psychological realism ethical theory utilitarianism deontology virtue ethics automatic processes reflective processes moral education
Year of publication:2017
Page range:24 (49-72)
Cited-by (Crossref) ?:


This paper focuses on the psychological realism requirement which should be met by any ethical theory. Even if one should not make normative conclusions out of descriptive presumptions, there are still some limitations resulting from our nature about which one should remember when formulating moral ideals. One should not impose moral ideals which may require of people more than they would ever be able to bear. The paper’s aim is to emphasize how important it is to ethics to pay attention to the empirical research carried out within psychology which show that a large part of our thought and volitional processes is automatic or semi-automatic. This means that ethicists cannot exclusively concentrate on regulating reflective processes which underlie consciously made decisions. If ethics is to avoid marginalization, ethicists must also focus on those automatic processes which control human thinking and action, especially in the circumstances of a total “ego-depletion”, e.g. when we are tired, hungry, or under a strong influence of unstable emotions. The paper shows that virtue ethics is this kind of ethical approach which meets the psychological realism condition most successfully.
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