Date of Award

8-10-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Andrew I. Cohen

Second Advisor

Tim O'Keefe

Third Advisor

S.M. Love

Abstract

Self-effacing ethical theories are those that recommend their own erasure. Such theories are a controversial topic in contemporary moral philosophy. In this thesis, I shed light on what is and is not wrong with this type of theory. I examine two kinds of self-effacing ethical theories, a radical version of sophisticated consequentialism and developmental virtue ethics. I defend them against three common objections to self-effacing theories. I raise and develop two novel objections to self-effacing theories: a self-erasure objection and an incompleteness objection. I conclude by arguing that these two objections pose fewer challenges for developmental virtue ethics than radical sophisticated consequentialism.

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