Publication Date



This chapter concerns the relation between prudential (“self-regarding” or “self-interested”) reasons and moral reasons. It begins with definitions of these types of reasons, arguing that moral reasons be understood as those described in ineliminably moral terminology, before moving on to central current views on reasons, well-being, and what makes actions right or wrong. Forms of egoism are distinguished and some objections to normative egoism answered. Views egoists might take on morality are then discussed, including that of Thrasymachus in Plato’s Republic. The following section covers impartial views, including the extreme form found in utilitarianism. The chapter then outlines the range of “dualistic” positions available, in which reasons are grounded both in the good of the agent and in morality. It concludes with discussion of some recent work on the relation of prudential and moral reasons.


Dianoia Institute of Philosophy

Document Type

Book Chapter

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.