The Defence of Agent‐Centred Restrictions: Intuitions in Search of a Foundation

Samuel Scheffler

in The Rejection of Consequentialism

Published in print August 1994 | ISBN: 9780198235118
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598340 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

The Defence of Agent‐Centred Restrictions: Intuitions in Search of a Foundation

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Scheffler searches for, but does not find, a principled rationale for including agent‐centred restrictions in a moral theory. He considers and rejects rationales that appeal to the disvalue of violating agent‐centred restrictions, to the independence of the personal point of view, and to other features of victims and agents. Overall, the chapter is a defence of what Scheffler calls the ‘independence thesis’, which holds that Ch. 3's principled rationale for an agent‐centred prerogative is consistent with the rejection of agent‐centred restrictions. Scheffler's arguments may also lend support to the ‘asymmetry thesis’, which denies the possibility of grounding agent‐centred restrictions in a rationale comparable to that which grounds an agent‐centred prerogative.

Keywords: agent‐centred restriction; agent‐centred prerogative; asymmetry thesis; independence thesis; personal point of view; principled rationale

Chapter.  13794 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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