Ethical Realism

May 24, 2011

Ethics and Rationalization

Filed under: ethics,philosophy — JW Gray @ 5:28 am
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We want to know how to be reasonable when thinking about morality, and “moral philosophy” is the specialization in doing exactly that. This requires that we know the difference between being reasonable and unreasonable. Sometimes people think like sophists—pretenders of wisdom—rather than philosophers and make use of poor reasoning without a serious attempt to be reasonable. “Sophistry” or “rationalization” is poor reasoning people use as if it were good reasoning when they are being negligent during the reasoning process. This is often unintentional because good reasoning requires training, careful thought, and research and few people have mastered their abilities of rationality. We can study moral rationalizations in an attempt to illustrate the difference between good reasoning and rationalization. I will discuss the importance of moral rationalizations, various rationalization techniques, and give illustrations of rationalizations in the business world. This discussion is based on “Business Ethics and Moral Motivation: A Criminological Perspective” (PDF) by Joseph Heath. (more…)


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