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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

Chapter:
(p.115) 5 Mimicking Duties
Source:
Climate Change and the Moral Agent
Author(s):

Elizabeth Cripps

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665655.003.0005

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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