Authors
Cecilia Tohaneanu
University of Bucharest (PhD)
Abstract
No matter how it is viewed, as a plausible version of anti-utilitarianism or of non-consequentialist, or even as a plausible version of deontology, the theory of prima facie duties certainly makes W. D. Ross one of the most important moral philosopher of the twentieth-century. By outlining his pluralistic deontology, this paper attempts to argue for a positive answer to the question of whether Ross’s theory can offer a solution to the issue of conflicting duties. If such a solution is convincing, as I believe it is, it would indicate the possibility to justify within the deontological framework, i.e., without committing to the principle of good-maximizing, those “hard cases” where people should break a promise or other (prima facie) duty in order to prevent a disastrous outcome. The theory of prima facie duties might then suggest that deontology and utilitarianism would likely be reconcilable.
Keywords W. D. Ross  pluralist deontology  prima facie duty  conflicting duties  actual duties  utilitarianism
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References found in this work BETA

Shame, Stigma, and Disgust in the Decent Society.Richard J. Arneson - 2007 - The Journal of Ethics 11 (1):31-63.
William David Ross.Anthony Skelton - 2010/2012 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Underivative Duty: Prichard on Moral Obligation: Thomas Hurka.Thomas Hurka - 2010 - Social Philosophy and Policy 27 (2):111-134.
Recalcitrant Pluralism.Philip Stratton-Lake - 2011 - Ratio 24 (4):364-383.
David Ross, Ideal Utilitarianism, and the Intrinsic Value of Acts.Francesco Orsi - 2012 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 1 (2).

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