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Document Details :
Title: Understanding the Moral Event
Subtitle: The Polarity Model of Ethical Discourse
Author(s): SELLING, Joseph A.
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 34 Issue: 1 Date: 2009
Presuming that ethical decision-making is equivalent to crisis management and being preoccupied with naming and reporting sins as individual events, Catholic moral theology has tended to function in an individualistic, legalistic and sin-centred manner. In contrast to this, this contribution presents a model of moral analysis that goes beyond the judgment on behaviour and adequately takes into account all the components of human moral activity. A proposal is made to consider the motivational and behavioural factors of the moral event as a kind of polarity in which these two elements remain mutually influential while effort needs to be made to prevent them from collapsing into each other. An important element for maintaining this model is a careful and consistent use of vocabulary in dealing with the moral event. The remainder of the text presents suggestions for how this ethical vocabulary might be understood.