Vol. 39 No. 2 (2019): The Prismatic Shape of Trust 2. Authors and Problems

Facing Moral Complexity. The Role of Moral Excellence in Guiding Moral Judgment

Simone Grigoletto
University of Padova

Published 2019-12-17


  • Moral judgment,
  • exemplars,
  • supererogation,
  • pluralism,
  • moral complexity

How to Cite

Grigoletto, S. (2019). Facing Moral Complexity. The Role of Moral Excellence in Guiding Moral Judgment. Teoria. Rivista Di Filosofia, 39(2), 239–258. https://doi.org/10.4454/teoria.v39i2.80


Post-modern societies have been marked by an increasing diversity of ideas on how to live a good life. As the current debate on normative ethics shows, this trait has opened up the field to various pluralist moral accounts. Accordingly, a phenomenological analysis of the agent’s first-person experience discloses the manifold moral sources that can guide his or her choices. This pluralism needs further characterization. In this paper, I introduce a distinction between axiological pluralism (the set of moral values) and methodological pluralism (the heterogeneity of moral reasoning). This distinction discloses a well-known problem: how can the agent recognize the moral reasons for one’s action in such a moral structure? I argue in favor of the traditional role of phrónesis. In particular, I emphasize how moral excellence (as highlighted by the contemporary debate on the concept of supererogation and recent works on moral exemplarism) can provide a valuable source of the formation and the enhancement of moral judgment.