Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Right and the Good$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David Ross and Philip Stratton-Lake

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199252657

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199252653.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 November 2020

What Makes Right Acts Right?

What Makes Right Acts Right?

(p.16) II What Makes Right Acts Right?
The Right and the Good

W. D. Ross

Oxford University Press

This second chapter continues the inquiry into right started in the first, asking what makes right acts right. Historical attempts to state a single characteristic of all right actions that is the foundation of their rightness have been based on egoism and (hedonistic) utilitarianism; these are not discussed except in so far as they are contrasted with the other theory put forward, which is G. E. Moore's theory suggesting that what makes actions right is that they are productive of good. The main aspect of this addressed is that of duty (prima facie duty), and the consideration leads to a rejection of the definition of right as just productive of the best possible consequences (or optimific). The connection between the attributes of right and optimific is discussed, and the nature of acts that are right (including individual right acts) is explored in more detail. Two appendices follow Chapter II: the first discusses rights (as opposed to right); the second discusses punishment (in connection with the preceding discussion on rights).

Keywords:   duty, egoism, hedonistic utilitarianism, optimific, prima facie duty, productive of good, punishment, right, right acts, rightness, rights, utilitarianism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .