Responsibility and the Demands of Morality

In: Journal of Moral Philosophy
Stephen J. White Northwestern University,

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Is it a good objection to a moral theory that it demands a great deal of individual agents? I argue that if we interpret the question to be about the potential welfare costs associated with our moral obligations, the answer must be “no.” However, the demands a moral theory makes can also be measured in terms of what it requires us to take responsibility for. I argue that this is distinct from what we may be required to do or give up, and that it provides a conception of demandingness that makes better sense of our intuitive reactions.

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