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Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics Volume 8$
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Mark C. Timmons

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198828310

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198828310.001.0001

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The Structure of Thresholds for Options

The Structure of Thresholds for Options

(p.193) 9 The Structure of Thresholds for Options
Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics Volume 8

Samantha Brennan

Oxford University Press

Most of us accept that, even if morality requires us to promote the good, we do not have to live up to its demands all the time. Sometimes we can favor our own interests, or provide special benefit to our friends and family. This paper assumes that these options can be overridden if we pass a certain threshold and asks if there is a common structure between these thresholds for options and the thresholds for rights. This moderate deontological account allows for aggregation in considering the total amount at stake, but also requires that the good be structured in a certain way. In the case of rights, there are two relevant structural constraints: an existential constraint (some individual must have as much at stake as the right bearer), and a universal constraint (everyone being considered must have some minimum amount at stake). Both of these constraints also apply to thresholds for options.

Keywords:   thresholds, moral options, rights, moderate deontology, moral constraints

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