Moral Agency, Self-Consciousness, and Practical Wisdom

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Abstract:

This paper argues that self-consciousness and moral agency depend crucially on both embodied and social aspects of human existence, and that the capacity for practical wisdom, phronesis, is central to moral personhood. The nature of practical wisdom is elucidated by drawing on rival analyses of expertise. Although ethical expertise and practical wisdom differ importantly, they are alike in that we can acquire them only in interaction with other persons and through habituation. The analysis of moral agency and practical wisdom is framed by Dennett's proposal that moral personhood requires satisfaction of six conditions, including self-consciousness.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Philosophy and Cognitive Sciences, Colbourn Hall 411, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816-1352, USA, Email: gallaghr@mail.ucf.edu

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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