The Positive Argument

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

 The Positive Argument

Show Summary Details


According to the positive argument, the personal point of view is not a mere hindrance to moral action, but a source of genuine and distinct values. There are thus reasons for the agent to act in keeping with the subjective point of view, and if morality is to provide space to do this, it must include options. If successful, this argument might provide a justification not only for options but for constraints as well (given the appropriateness of reflecting the patient's point of view, and not only the agent's point of view). But it is far from clear that there are any genuine values that cannot be adequately accommodated within the objective standpoint; and even if there were subjective reasons of this sort, they would simply ground new moral requirements, rather than options.

Keywords: constraints; objectivity; options; point of view; values

Chapter.  23136 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.