Protecting the Vulnerable: A Reanalysis of Our Social Responsibilities

Review of Metaphysics 40 (2):379-380 (1986)
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The trend of much of recent moral philosophy has been to question the adequacy of traditional deontological and utilitarian views which place universal moral rights and duties at the center of ethical theory. Robert Goodin's book continues this trend and attempts to break new ground in ethical theory by proposing a general theory of special moral responsibilities. He argues that such responsibilities, though diverse in many ways, all derive from a common underlying moral principle, the vulnerability principle, according to which moral agents acquire special responsibilities to the extent to which others are dependent upon them or are specially vulnerable in some way or ways to their choices and actions.



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