Non-Ideal Accessibility

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):653-669 (2013)
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Abstract
What should we do when we won't do as we ought? Suppose it ought to be that the procrastinating professor accept the task of reviewing a book, and actually review the book. It seems clear that given he won't review it, he ought not to accept the task. That is a genuine moral obligation in light of less than perfect circumstances. I want to entertain the possibility that a set of such obligations form something like a 'practical morality'; that which we ought to do given that we're unlikely or unwilling to do much of what ideal morality demands. If it is possible to give a coherent account of these kinds of obligations, then it is possible to entertain the idea that these obligations are in fact what morality demands. The conceptual truths about justice (good, right, fairness) that come from ideals are one thing; the actions that morality demands of people given their actual circumstances are quite another. In this paper I will ask about the kinds of facts that can be used to establish a more circumscribed set of obligations than we get from the orthodox view about moral obligation.
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Archival date: 2012-08-25
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