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Document Details :
Title: Rules and Acts of Considerateness
Subtitle: An Example from Jane Austen
Author(s): BERAN, Ondřej
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 22 Issue: 3 Date: 2015
The present article begins with the question as to whether each rule can really be made explicit and whether it is possible to identify the determining rule in any situation with a normative dimension. It focuses on an example of a moral kind (considerate behaviour) from classic literature. It appears that in order to account for this example properly, a distinction of different kinds or regimes of rules needs to be introduced – those establishing a normative reality and those reflecting critically upon it (typically moral rules). However, the very idea of reflecting upon moral practice in terms of general rules shows itself to be idle, as the critical rules require far-reaching specifications if they are to make sense. Considerate behaviour is then properly accounted for not in terms of rules for actions, but rather as a question of a form of life or a spirit of behaviour manifesting a virtue. However, the proper role and purpose of introducing the critical rules is not to establish a guide for actions, but to support individual reflection.