David McNaughton and Piers Rawling

Edited by David Copp

in The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195147797
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785841 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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This chapter proposes a novel form of deontology that, while it contrasts with consequentialism in defending duties of special relationship and options, is allied with consequentialism in denying that there are moral constraints. It devotes considerable attention to distinguishing between various consequentialist doctrines, and the distinction between them and deontology. The distinction between agent-relativity and agent-neutrality plays a crucial role here. It also discusses and rejects contractualism. The same applies to particularism in its most radical form: despite the sympathy for the particularist’s skepticism concerning strict moral principles, it is argued that there are principles of a weaker, Rossian form.

Keywords: agent-neutrality; agent-relativity; consequentialism; contractualism; deontology; moral constraints; moral principle; option; particularism; special relationship

Chapter.  16707 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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