Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics podcast

Morality and Personality

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Professor Predrag uses a comparison of money and morality to explore the mutual relationship between morality and personality. To clarify the tension that exists between morality and personality, Cicovacki opens his talk by comparing the development of the money economy and morality. Money and morality play a similar function with respect to social interactions: they make most diverse things commensurable and impose the rules that should have universal validity, regardless of to whom they apply. Personality is characterized by the uniqueness of each individual, as well as by a need for continuous development. To close an unhealthy gap between morality and personality, morality should be conceived not on the model of the money economy, but by becoming more sensitive to who we are and in what kind of situations we find ourselves. Cicovacki argues that we should favor a maximalist rather than a minimalist conception of morality: the one that urges us to become as good human beings as we can, rather than to focus merely on enabling acceptable social intercourse. The questions that such a conception of morality should ask are: 1. What is the moral cost of being who you are? and 2. What is the moral cost of not being who you are?

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