Chapter

The Structure of Ordinary Morality

Shelly Kagan

in The Limits of Morality

Published in print April 1991 | ISBN: 9780198239161
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597848 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198239165.003.0002

Series: Oxford Ethics Series

 The Structure of Ordinary Morality

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This chapter explores certain technical details concerning the characterization of ordinary morality. First, it argues that defenders of ordinary morality believe in the existence of a pro tanto reason to promote the good, a reason that always has weight, even if it can be overridden. Second, it offers an account of what conditions must be met for there to be a moral requirement to perform a given act. Third, it sketches in general terms what the defender of ordinary morality must show if both options and constraints are to be defended. Finally, it argues that this overall approach does not beg any questions against the defender of ordinary morality.

Keywords: constraints; moral requirement; options; pro tanto reason; the good

Chapter.  15598 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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