Moral dilemmas and offence

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (3):291 - 298 (2005)
Abstract
In 1963 Roderick Chisholm proposed a category of acts called “offences” to capture what he called acts of “permissive ill-doing.” Chisholm’s proposal has proven to be controversial. Here I propose that some progress can be made in validating acts of offence by focusing upon moral dilemmas. Given the problems which have been alleged to beset moral dilemmas, this may initially seem like a puzzling strategy. However, I will call attention to a type of moral dilemma unlike what is standardly discussed in the literature and attempt to show that those who acknowledge that such dilemmas are possible are likewise obliged to acknowledge that acts of offence are possible. My suggestion, then, is that, since the former are plausible to acknowledge, so are the latter.
Keywords blameworthy  dilemmas  offence  ought
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