Without Constraints

Shelly Kagan

in The Limits of Morality

Published in print April 1991 | ISBN: 9780198239161
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597848 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ethics Series

 Without Constraints

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Given the difficulties surrounding the attempt to defend constraints, we need to reconsider the possibility of defending options without assuming the existence of constraints. A view that incorporated options but not constraints would be a departure from ordinary morality, but might be attractive nonetheless. This chapter first explores the structure of such a theory, and then argues that it cannot avoid unacceptable implications unless it presupposes the moral relevance of one of the distinctions discussed in the two previous chapters, such as the distinction between doing and allowing harm. But that distinction remains problematic and inadequately supported, even given the more limited use being made of it here.

Keywords: allowing; constraints; doing; options

Chapter.  8863 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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