Critical Analysis Of Moral Saints By Susan Wolf

Decent Essays

In her critical analysis of ‘Moral Saints’, Susan Wolf examines the concept of a moral saint in order to understand what exactly a moral saint would be like and why such an agent would be an unattractive individual. More so, she raises questions about the significance of this contradictory figure for moral philosophy. Looking first at the idea of moral sainthood from the ethics of common sense, Susan Wolf then considers what relations these have to the conclusions that can be drawn from both Utilitarian and Kantian moral theories. Having found these relations, Susan Wolf then speculates on the implications of these considerations for moral philosophy (Wolf, 1982, 419-420). As part of my essay, I aim to explore Susan Wolf’s argument of the ‘undesirable and unattractive’ life of a moral saint, and why she speculates such a view. Looking first at the distinguishing figures of the Loving Saint and the Rational Saint to which she bases her underlying characteristics on, I then look into Susan Wolf’s arguments in relation to Utilitarian and Kantian theories and how she speculates their undesirable notions that lead to the idea of moral sainthood. Having explored these speculations, I them aim to conclude on how Susan Wolf’s argument of the ‘unattractive’ moral saint is misunderstood, as she primarily bases her argument based on the idea of moral judgement. Before beginning her arguments towards the idea of Moral Saints, Susan Wolf distinguishes between two behavioural figures of

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