Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):284-298 (2017)

Authors
Douglas W. Portmore
Arizona State University
Abstract
Common-sense morality includes various agent-centred constraints, including ones against killing unnecessarily and breaking a promise. However, it's not always clear whether, had an agent ϕ-ed, she would have violated a constraint. And sometimes the reason for this is not that we lack knowledge of the relevant facts, but that there is no fact about whether her ϕ-ing would have constituted a constraint-violation. What, then, is a constraint-accepting theory to say about whether it would have been permissible for her to have ϕ-ed? In this paper, I canvass various possible approaches to answering this question and I argue that teleology offers the most plausible approach—teleology being the view that every act has its deontic status in virtue of how its outcome ranks, relative to those of its alternatives. So although, until recently, it had been thought that only deontological theories can accommodate constraints, it turns out that teleological theories not only can accommodate constraints, but can do so more plausibly than deontological theories can.
Keywords absolutism  agent-centered  constraints  restrictions  uncertainty  deontology  thresholds
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2017
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1080/00048402.2016.1219376
Options
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: 65,657
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David Kellogg Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
The Limits of Morality.Shelly Kagan - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Inquiry.Robert Stalnaker - 1984 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

In Dubious Battle: Uncertainty and the Ethics of Killing.Seth Lazar - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (4):859-883.
Moral Uncertainty for Deontologists.Christian Tarsney - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3):505-520.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Chaos and Constraints.Howard Nye - 2014 - In David Boersema (ed.), Dimensions of Moral Agency. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 14-29.
Taking Seriously the Challenges of Agent-Centered Morality.Hye-Ryoung Kang - 2011 - JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL WONKWANG CULTURE 2 (1):43-56.
La imposibilidad de un consecuencialismo moderado.Martin Farrell - 2000 - Análisis Filosófico 20 (1-2):7-32.
Violating Strict Deontological Constraints: Excuse or Pardon?Rudolf Schuessler - 2015 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 9 (4):587-601.
Epistemological Egoism and Agent-Centered Norms.Michael Huemer - 2011 - In Trent Dougherty (ed.), Evidentialism and its Discontents. Oxford University Press. pp. 17.
Are Moral Reasons Morally Overriding?Douglas W. Portmore - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (4):369-388.
Deontology, Rationality, And Agent-Centered Restrictions.Brandon Hogan - 2010 - Florida Philosophical Review 10 (1):75-87.
Evidentialism and Pragmatic Constraints on Outright Belief.Dorit Ganson - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 139 (3):441 - 458.
Liberating Constraints.Ishtiyaque Haji - 1997 - Journal of Philosophical Research 22:261-287.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-04-09

Total views
176 ( #62,361 of 2,462,294 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #119,518 of 2,462,294 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes