Fallacies and moral dilemmas

Argumentation 9 (4):617-632 (1995)
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The continuing debate between utilitarians and deontologists often takes the form of disagreement over how particular moral dilemmas are to be resolved, but protagonists on both sides tend to overlook the possibility of resolving a dilemma “with remainder”, such as regret. The importance of “remainder” is also overlooked by critics of some “absolutist” ways of resolving or slipping between the horns of certain moral dilemmas. Moreover, deontologists, if not utilitarians, can be criticised for overlooking the possibility that, according to their theory, some dilemmas may be irresolvable. Virtue ethics, with its concentration on the agent, readily accommodates both mention of “remainder” and irresolvable dilemmas, and yields a specification of “tragic” dilemmas which the other two theories might like to take on



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Rosalind Hursthouse
University of Auckland

References found in this work

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Moral realism and moral dilemma.Philippa Foot - 1983 - Journal of Philosophy 80 (7):379-398.

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