Moral courage

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Moral courage is the courage to take action for moral reasons despite the risk of adverse consequences.[1]

Courage is required to take action when one has doubts or fears about the consequences. Moral courage therefore involves deliberation or careful thought. Reflex action or dogmatic fanaticism do not involve moral courage because such impulsive actions are not based upon moral reasoning.[2]

Moral courage may also require physical courage when the consequences are punishment or other bodily peril.[3]

Moral courage has been seen as the exemplary modernist form of courage.[4]


  1. ^ P. Aarne Vesilind, "The Courage To Do The Right Thing choose between right and wrong", The right thing to do: an ethics guide for engeenering students 
  2. ^ Douglas N. Walton, "Moral Deliberation and Conduct", Courage, a philosophical investigation 
  3. ^ Daniel A. Putman, Psychological courage 
  4. ^ T. A. Shippey, The Road to Middle Earth (1992) p. 72-3

Further reading[edit]