Deontic Restrictions Are Not Agent-Relative Restrictions

Social Philosophy and Policy 15 (02):61- (1998)
Abstract
The primary purpose of this essay is to offer a critique of a particular program within moral and political philosophy. This program can be stated quite succinctly. It is to account for agents' being subject to deontic restrictions on the basis of their possession of agent-relative reasons for acting in accordance with those restrictions. Needless to say, the statement of this program requires some further explication. Specifically, two claims require explanation: the reasons individuals have for or against engaging in particular actions are, at least to a very significant extent, agent-relative rather than agent-neutral; and agents' conduct toward others is subject to deontic restrictions . Finally, I need to explain why an agent's possession of agent-relative reasons for performing or refraining from certain actions may be thought to explain that agent's being subject to certain deontic restrictions
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