Against the Entitlement Model of Obligation

Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-18 (forthcoming)
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The purpose of this paper is to reject what I call the entitlement model of directed obligation: the view that we can conclude from X is obligated to Y that therefore Y has an entitlement against X. I argue that rejecting the model clears up many otherwise puzzling aspects of ordinary moral interaction. The main goal is not to offer a new theory of obligation and entitlement. It is rather to show that, contrary to what most philosophers have assumed, directed obligation and entitlement are not the same normative concept seen from two different perspectives. They are two very different concepts, and much is gained by keeping them distinct.

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