Dialectica 60 (2):157-170 (2006)

Authors
Carla Bagnoli
University of Modena
Abstract
In symmetrical moral dilemmas, the agent faces a choice between two incompatible actions, which are equally justified on the basis of the same value. These cases are generally discounted as spurious or irrelevant on the assumption that, when there is no failure of commensurability, choice between symmetrical requirements is indifferent and can be determined by randomization. Alternatively, this article argues that the appeal to randomization allows the agent to overcome a deliberative impasse, but it does not really resolve the moral dilemma. This is because randomization fails to provide the agent with a genuine reason for action. The argument is based on an account of arbitrariness as a threat to the agent’s authorship on action. By focusing on lack of authorship, rather than on failure of commensurability, we gain the adequate perspective to assess the philosophical significance of moral dilemmas, their impact on the agential integrity, and their consequences for ethical theory.
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DOI 10.1111/dltc.2006.60.issue-2
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References found in this work BETA

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