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Climate Change and the Moral AgentIndividual Duties in an Interdependent World$
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Elizabeth Cripps

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199665655

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665655.001.0001

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Mimicking Duties

Mimicking Duties

(p.115) 5 Mimicking Duties
Climate Change and the Moral Agent

Elizabeth Cripps

Oxford University Press

This chapter asks what individuals should do in cases of unfulfilled weakly collective duties. Three possibilities are introduced: mimicking duties (do what would be required by fair collective scheme), promotional duties (promote collective action), or direct duties (alleviate harm or aid victims directly, oneself or with a like-minded subset). The widespread appeal of mimicking duties is acknowledged in the climate change case. Five possible philosophical defences are considered: a “fair shares” argument; direct harm arguments; a rule consequentialist defence; appeal to the fairness of anticipating a collective scheme; a virtue-ethics defence, and appeal to the Kantian categorical imperative. It is argued that none succeeds in defending mimicking duties as exclusive, or even primary.

Keywords:   climate change, mimicking duties, fair shares, no-harm principle, act-consequentialism, rule-consequentialism, virtue ethics, categorical imperative

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