Moral Dilemmas and Consistency

Ruth Barcan Marcus

in Modalities

Published in print August 1995 | ISBN: 9780195096576
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833412 | DOI:
 Moral Dilemmas and Consistency

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In this paper, it is argued that moral dilemmas need not indicate that the set of moral principles under which we define our obligations is inconsistent. It is also argued that the consistency of moral principles does not entail that moral dilemmas can be settled without residue. This points not only to an intractable fact about the human condition and the inevitability of guilt but also to a second‐order regulative principle: as rational agents we ought to conduct our lives and arrange our institutions so as to minimize predicaments of moral conflict.

Keywords: abortion; guilt; Kantian ethics; moral dilemmas; moral principles; moral sentiment; Rawls

Chapter.  7668 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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