Argumentation 9 (4):617-632 (1995)

Rosalind Hursthouse
University of Auckland
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
Keywords Moral dilemmas  remainder  deontology  utilitarianism  virtue ethics
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00737782
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,231
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Ethical Consistency.B. A. O. Williams & W. F. Atkinson - 1965 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 39 (1):103-138.
Moral Dilemmas and Consistency.Ruth Barcan Marcus - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (3):121-136.
Truth, Invention, and the Meaning of Life.David Wiggins - 1988 - In Geoffrey Sayre-McCord (ed.), Essays on Moral Realism. Cornell University Press. pp. 127--65.
Moral Realism and Moral Dilemma.Philippa Foot - 1983 - Journal of Philosophy 80 (7):379-398.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Moral Dilemmas and Comparative Conceptions of Morality.Peter Vallentyne - 1992 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):117-124.
The Definition of Moral Dilemmas: A Logical Problem. [REVIEW]Jurriaan De Haan - 2001 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 4 (3):267-284.
“Two Types of Moral Dilemmas”.Peter Vallentyne - 1989 - Erkenntnis 30 (3):301-318.
On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
Moral Dilemmas Are Not a Local Issue.Dirk Baltzly - 2000 - Philosophy 75 (2):245-263.
Epistemological Dilemmas of Contemporary Ethics.Harun Tepe - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 1:25-30.
Moral Dilemmas and Vagueness.Matjaž Potrč & Vojko Strahovnik - 2013 - Acta Analytica 28 (2):207-222.


Added to PP index

Total views
66 ( #175,273 of 2,518,146 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #272,129 of 2,518,146 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes