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The Limits of Morality

Shelly Kagan


This book is a sustained attack on two of the most fundamental features of ‘ordinary morality’, the common‐sense moral view that most of us accept. According to this view, morality involves two different kinds of limits. First, morality imposes certain limits on our actions, ruling out various kinds of acts – for example, harming the innocent – even if more good might be brought about by performing an act of this kind. Second, there are limits imposed on morality, limits to what morality can demand of us; in particular, we are not required to make our greatest possible contribution to the over ... More

Keywords: common‐sense morality, consequentialism, constraints, deontology, ethics, Shelly Kagan, moral intuitions, moral theory, options, the good

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1991 Print ISBN-13: 9780198239161
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0198239165.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Shelly Kagan, author
University of Illinois, Chicago
Author Webpage