Constraints, you, and your victims

Noûs 57 (4):942-957 (2022)
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Deontologists believe that it is wrong to violate a right even if this will prevent a greater number of violations of the same right. This leads to the paradox of deontology: If respecting everyone’s rights is equally important, why should we not minimize the number of rights violations? One possible answer is agent-based. This answer points out that you should not violate rights even if this will prevent someone else’s violations. In this paper, I defend a relational agent-based justification that focuses on the relation in which the agent stands to her would-be victims. I argue that this justification can avoid two key objections levelled against agent-based justifications: It can explain why we are not permitted to minimize our own rights violations, and the justification avoids the charge of being excessively self-concerned.



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Bastian Steuwer
Ashoka University

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Moral dimensions: permissibility, meaning, blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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