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Partiality and ImpartialityMorality, Special Relationships, and the Wider World$
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Brian Feltham and John Cottingham

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199579952

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579952.001.0001

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Morality and Reasonable Partiality *

Morality and Reasonable Partiality *

(p.98) 5 Morality and Reasonable Partiality*
Partiality and Impartiality

Samuel Scheffler (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that any coherent morality will make room for partiality, not merely in the sense that it will permit or require partial behaviour in some circumstances, but also in the sense that it will treat ‘reasons of partiality’ as bearing directly on the rightness and wrongness of actions. Reasons of partiality include project-dependent, relationship-dependent, and membership-dependent reasons. Although the content of morality is not exhausted by such reasons, Thomas Scanlon and others have suggested that moral reasons in general have their source in interpersonal relationships of a certain kind. This chapter examines these suggestions and identifies a number of difficulties that must be addressed if such a ‘relational’ view of morality is to be defended.

Keywords:   partiality, reasons of partiality, project-dependent reasons, relationship-dependent reasons, membership-dependent reasons, personal relationships, Scanlon

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