Maximalism vs. Omnism about Permissibility

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
The performance of one option can entail the performance of another. For instance, I have the option of baking a pumpkin pie as well as the option of baking a pie, and the former entails the latter. Now, suppose that both of these options are permissible. This raises the issue of which, if either, is more fundamental than the other. Is baking a pie permissible because it’s permissible to perform some instance of pie-baking, such as pumpkin-pie baking? Or is baking a pumpkin pie permissible because it’s permissible to bake a pie? Or are they equally fundamental, as they would be if they were both permissible because, say, they both have optimal consequences? The aim of this paper is to compare two alternative responses to this issue—omnism and maximalism—and to argue that the latter is preferable. Roughly speaking, maximalism is the view that only those options that are not entailed by any other option are to be assessed in terms of whether they have some right-making feature F (such as that of having optimal consequences), whereas omnism is the view that all options are to be assessed in terms of whether they are F. I argue that maximalism is preferable to omnism because it provides a more plausible solution to the problem of act versions and is not subject to any problems of its own. And if I’m right about maximalism’s being preferable to omnism, then most moral theories, which are all versions of omnism, need significant revision.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-04-10
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
The Toxin Puzzle.Kavka, Gregory S.
Oughts, Options, and Actualism.Jackson, Frank & Pargetter, Robert

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
124 ( #21,824 of 40,630 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
12 ( #31,877 of 40,630 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.