Linda Zagzebski has recently proposed an ethical theory, based in virtue ethics, that builds in an essential role for God as an exemplar and thus the source of moral motivation. In this thesis, I examine Zagzebski’s Divine Motivation theory and argue that it fails to adequately meet the criteria for an ethical theory. I sketch out an alternative that leaves an essential role for God while avoiding the pitfalls of Zagzebski’s theory.
Department, Program, or Center
Department of Philosophy (CLA)
Emerson, Kayla, "Divine Motivation Theory: Psychology in the Guise of Ethics" (2014). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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