Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):653-669 (2013)

Authors
Holly Lawford-Smith
University of Melbourne
Abstract
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
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-012-9384-1
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References found in this work BETA

Willing, Wanting, Waiting.Richard Holton - 2009 - Oxford University Press UK.
Ideal and Nonideal Theory.A. John Simmons - 2010 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 38 (1):5-36.
Darwin's Dangerous Idea.Daniel C. Dennett - 1996 - Behavior and Philosophy 24 (2):169-174.

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Citations of this work BETA

Motivational Limitations on the Demands of Justice.David Wiens - 2016 - European Journal of Political Theory 15 (3):333-352.
The Feasibility Issue.Nicholas Southwood - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (8):e12509.

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