Moral dilemmas, collective responsibility, and moral progress

Philosophical Studies 104 (2):203 - 225 (2001)
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Abstract

Ruth Marcus has offered an account of moral dilemmas in which the presence of dilemmas acts as a motivating force, pushing us to try to minimize predicaments of moral conflict. In this paper, I defend a Marcus-style account of dilemmas against two objections: first, that if dilemmas are real, we are forced to blame those who have done their best, and second, that in some cases, even a stripped down version of blame seems inappropriate. My account highlights the importance of collective responsibility in understanding dilemmas, and I suggest that it sheds light on understanding moral progress.

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Patricia Marino
University of Waterloo

References found in this work

Ethical Consistency.B. A. O. Williams & W. F. Atkinson - 1965 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 39 (1):103-138.
Moral dilemmas and consistency.Ruth Barcan Marcus - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (3):121-136.
Moral conflict and its structure.David O. Brink - 1994 - Philosophical Review 103 (2):215-247.
Moral realism and moral dilemma.Philippa Foot - 1983 - Journal of Philosophy 80 (7):379-398.
More about moral dilemmas.Ruth Barcan Marcus & H. E. Mason - 1996 - In H. E. Mason (ed.), Moral Dilemmas and Moral Theory. Oxford University Press.

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