Could Ross’s Pluralist Deontology Solve the Conflicting Duties Problem?

Revue Roumaine de Philosophie 59 (forthcoming)
  Copy   BIBTEX


No matter how it is viewed, as a plausible version of anti-utilitarianism or of non-consequentialist, or even as a plausible version of deontology, the theory of prima facie duties certainly makes W. D. Ross one of the most important moral philosopher of the twentieth-century. By outlining his pluralistic deontology, this paper attempts to argue for a positive answer to the question of whether Ross’s theory can offer a solution to the issue of conflicting duties. If such a solution is convincing, as I believe it is, it would indicate the possibility to justify within the deontological framework, i.e., without committing to the principle of good-maximizing, those “hard cases” where people should break a promise or other (prima facie) duty in order to prevent a disastrous outcome. The theory of prima facie duties might then suggest that deontology and utilitarianism would likely be reconcilable.

Author's Profile

Cecilia Tohaneanu
University of Bucharest (PhD)


Added to PP

3,067 (#1,947)

6 months
471 (#2,453)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?