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Moral Agency

Moral agency presumes that human beings are capable of choice and morally accountable for their actions, as well as for the consequences of those actions. Closely related to the theory of self, moral agency embodies the ability to self-regulate and self-sanction one’s behavior; this ability is part of what makes community living possible. Individuals have the capacity for making moral judgments and taking appropriate action depending on a moral code. People who function as moral agents are able to consider the relationship between means and ends. They balance their intentions and actions with probable consequences and determine whether the ends justify the means. In general, theories of moral agency do not hold an individual responsible for the unintentional (and, typically, unforeseen) consequences of an action.

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