Non-Ideal Accessibility

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):653-669 (2013)
What should we do when we won't do as we ought? Suppose it ought to be that the procrastinating professor accept the task of reviewing a book, and actually review the book. It seems clear that given he won't review it, he ought not to accept the task. That is a genuine moral obligation in light of less than perfect circumstances. I want to entertain the possibility that a set of such obligations form something like a 'practical morality'; that which we ought to do given that we're unlikely or unwilling to do much of what ideal morality demands. If it is possible to give a coherent account of these kinds of obligations, then it is possible to entertain the idea that these obligations are in fact what morality demands. The conceptual truths about justice (good, right, fairness) that come from ideals are one thing; the actions that morality demands of people given their actual circumstances are quite another. In this paper I will ask about the kinds of facts that can be used to establish a more circumscribed set of obligations than we get from the orthodox view about moral obligation.
Keywords Accessibility  Feasibility  Non-ideal theory  Ought implies can  Restricted possibility  Non-compliance  Weakness of will  Partial compliance  Dirty hands  Obligations
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10677-012-9384-1
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Holly Lawford-Smith, Non-Ideal Accessibility
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Daniel C. Dennett (1996). Darwin's Dangerous Idea. Behavior and Philosophy 24 (2):169-174.
A. John Simmons (2010). Ideal and Nonideal Theory. Philosophy and Public Affairs 38 (1):5-36.
G. A. Cohen (2009). Why Not Socialism? Princeton University Press.

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Judith Lichtenberg (2010). Oughts and Cans. Philosophical Topics 38 (1):123-142.
Gopal Sreenivasan (2007). Health and Justice in Our Non-Ideal World. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (2):218-236.
Holly Lawford-Smith (2012). The Feasibility of Collectives' Actions. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):453-467.
Wibren van der Burg & Sanne Taekema (2004). Motivation by Ideal. Philosophical Explorations 7 (1):91 – 98.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

291 ( #8,971 of 1,932,541 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

39 ( #10,697 of 1,932,541 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.