F. M. Kamm

in Morality, Mortality Volume II: Rights, Duties, and Status

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780195144024
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199870998 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ethics Series


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If it is in one way in people's interest that there be constraints on killing (because it gives them a more sublime and elevated status), is it still possible for them to agree ex ante to alienate those rights for the sake of other interests they have? Can we do away with constraints protecting an individual not because it is for the greater good of others, but because ex ante it is in his own interest for there to be no constraints? This is the question that prompts Ch. 11. Both agent‐focussed objections and victim‐focussed objections to agreements to use oneself at one time for one's own good at another time are addressed, although the emphasis is on victim‐focussed reasons against such agreements, and on the limits to a strategy of founding morality on agreements and allowing duties to be overridden by agreements. The outline is plotted of the types of agreements permitted by ‘common‐sense morality.’

Keywords: agent‐focussed objections to self‐use; agreements; common‐sense morality; constraints on killing; constraints protecting an individual; duties; individual agreements; morality; rights; self‐interest; self‐use agreements; victim‐focussed objections to self‐use

Chapter.  12410 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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