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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Zarathustra's Dilemma and the Embodiment of Morality

  • Author(s): Garthoff, Jon
  • et al.

In this paper I defend and expand on John Rawls’s view that what morality requires of major social institutions –- the “basic structure of society” –- is fundamentally different from what morality requires of individual moral agents. I do so by motivating the view that many moral relations are not purely interpersonal, but rather are specified and mediated by the institutions of the basic structure. I propose that we think of these social institutions as, to the extent that they specify and mediate moral relations among individuals, embodying morality.

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