Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2451-2469 (2020)

Sebastian Köhler
Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
Benjamin Ferguson
University of Warwick
It is often assumed that morally permissible acts are morally better than impermissible acts. We call this claim Betterness of Permissibility. Yet, we show that some striking counterexamples show that the claim’s truth cannot be taken for granted. Furthermore, even if Betterness of Permissibility is true, it is unclear why. Apart from appeals to its intuitive plausibility, no arguments in favour of the condition exist. We fill this lacuna by identifying two fundamental conditions that jointly entail betterness of permissibility: ‘reasons monotonicity of permissibility’ and the ‘weak classical view’. We then argue that there are good reasons for accepting both of the fundamental conditions. We note that there exist plausible moral theories that reject one of the fundamental conditions. However, the way in which those theories reject the fundamental conditions does not allow them to endorse the counterexamples that motivate the belief that Betterness of Permissibility might be false.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-019-01319-8
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,018
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Harvard University Press.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.

View all 31 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Consequences of Comparability.Cian Dorr, Jacob M. Nebel & Jake Zuehl - 2021 - Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):70-98.
Exploitation and Effective Altruism.Daniel Muñoz - 2021 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 20 (4):409-423.
Exploitation, Trade Justice, and Corporate Obligations.Brian Berkey - 2022 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 9 (1):11-29.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Consequentialist Account of Narveson’s Dictum.John Cusbert & Robyn Kath - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1693-1709.
Scanlon on Permissibility and Double Effect.Jakob Elster - 2012 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (1):75-102.
Non-Agential Permissibility In Epistemology.Luis R. G. Oliveira - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):389-394.
Probabilism Today: Permissibility and Multi-Account Ethics.Jonathan Hill - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):235-250.


Added to PP index

Total views
155 ( #74,416 of 2,498,492 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
18 ( #46,452 of 2,498,492 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes