Avoiding the Appeal

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

 Avoiding the Appeal

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Even if the existence of constraints is granted, if only for the sake of argument, the need to defend options still remains. This chapter turns to that defence. It considers three arguments that attempt to establish options – given the existence of constraints – without appealing to the cost to the agent of promoting the good. The first argument holds that unless there are options, agents unavoidably violate constraints when they impose sacrifices upon themselves. The other two arguments hold that the existence of constraints entails the existence of rights, which in turn entails the existence of options. But none of these arguments succeeds.

Keywords: constraints; options; rights; self‐constraint

Chapter.  11915 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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