By W W. Rouse 1850-1925 Ball

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The utilitarians, however, are teleologists who hold that morality is not an end in itself. It possesses only instrumental value. For them, adhering to a system of duties and obligations makes sense only if it is a means to happiness. These antithetical sets of philosophical assumptions about the nature of human knowledge, moral reasoning and morality are related to other opposing sets of psychological, sociological, theological and metaphysical beliefs. H. 21 I shall deal only with those which I consider to be the most conceptually important and relevant for this study of moral perplexity in the modern world.

Of course it is only unacceptable if one holds, as practical ethicists do, that moral philosophy ought to be relevant for practical moral experience. E. Moore published Principia Ethica, until now when it has been challenged by the revival of practical ethics. The autonomous or specialist view involves the rejection of the idea of moral expertise. Everyone agrees that ethical theorists can analyse moral problems from different theoretical perspectives, but what they cannot do is to say which perspective is best.

According to organic casuistry, when obligations conflict this indicates that the moral system which is controlling our thought and conduct has become incoherent. We are in a state of intellectual, emotional and moral disequilibrium, and we will remain so until the conflict is resolved. If we try to rid ourselves of the unease by mechanistic or linear methods of reasoning we will fail to solve our dilemmas, as we have seen. Moral dilemmas are the death knells of mechanistic casuistry but not of organic casuistry.

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