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Weighing Reasons$
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Errol Lord and Barry Maguire

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199315192

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199315192.001.0001

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The Implementation Problem for Deontology

The Implementation Problem for Deontology

(p.279) 14 The Implementation Problem for Deontology
Weighing Reasons

Frank Jackson

Michael Smith

Oxford University Press

Ethical theories mostly focus on what constitutes right action, with competing theories offering their favoured answers: Do what maximises happiness; Do that which God would approve of; Refrain from actions which violate principles for the regulation of behaviour that no one could reasonably reject as a basis for informed, unforced, general agreement; and so on. They typically have much less to say about how one should implement their favoured answer. The question of implementation is the focus of this chapter. Various answers that deontologists might offer to this question are considered and found wanting, and a diagnosis of the source of their difficulties is suggested.

Keywords:   deontology, implementation, value, probability, knowledge, constitution, absolutism

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