Moral Offsetting

Philosophical Quarterly (forthcoming)
Authors
Thomas Foerster
Cornell University
Abstract
This paper explores the idea of moral offsetting: the idea that good actions can offset bad actions in a way roughly analogous to carbon offsetting. For example, a meat eater might try to offset their consumption of meat by donating to an animal welfare charity. In this paper, I clarify the idea of moral offsetting, consider whether the leading moral theories and theories of moral worth are consistent with the possibility of moral offsetting, and consider potential benefits of moral offsetting. I also compare moral offsetting to a related practice that I call ‘moral triaging’.
Keywords moral offsetting  moral triaging  moral efficiency  altruistic economics
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DOI 10.1093/pq/pqy068
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References found in this work BETA

Acting for the Right Reasons.Julia Markovits - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (2):201-242.
Moral Worth.Nomy Arpaly - 2002 - Journal of Philosophy 99 (5):223.
Oughts, Options, and Actualism.Frank Jackson & Robert Pargetter - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (2):233-255.
Moral Obligations: Actualist, Possibilist, or Hybridist?Travis Timmerman & Yishai Cohen - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):672-686.
Doing Away with Harm.Ben Bradley - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):390-412.

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