Doing Good and Suffering Evil

  • James Daly


Is it a moral outrage that a man should suffer as a result of, or in spite of, acting justly? Or is it improper to expect that ‘the way things go’ (to use D. Z. Phillips’s phrase) should satisfy moral demands ? The thesis of the pointlessness of morality, that virtue is its own reward, may answer the question in his own case for the mature moral agent. But can the just man — even if his own sufferings are disregarded in the light of the importance of acting morally — regard with equanimity the sufferings of the innocent and the morally undeveloped: children, mental defectives ?


Moral Outrage Moral Demand Aristotelian Society Religious Morality Mental Defective 
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  1. 1.
    D. Z. Phillips, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (1964–5) p. 47.Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    Alasdair Maclntyre gives some examples in A Short History of Ethics (1967) pp. 89 f.Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    Lucien Goldmann, The Hidden God: A Study of Tragic Vision in the Pensées of Pascal and the Tragedies of Racine (1964)p. 48.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    Paul Ricoeur, ‘Methods and Tasks of a Phenomenology of the Will’, in Problèmes Actuels de la Phénoménologie, trans. in Husserl: An Analysis of his Phenomenology ( Evanston, Ill., 1967 ) p. 226.Google Scholar

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© The Royal Institute of Philosophy 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Daly

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