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Moral Status and the Direction of Duties

Simon Căbulea May
Ethics
Vol. 123, No. 1 (October 2012), pp. 113-128
DOI: 10.1086/667835
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/667835
Page Count: 16
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Moral Status and the Direction of Duties
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Abstract

Gopal Sreenivasan’s “hybrid theory” states that a moral duty is directed toward an individual because her interests justify the assignment of control over the duty. An alternative “plain theory” states that the individual’s interests justify the duty itself. I argue that a strong moral status constraint explains Sreenivasan’s instrumentalization objection to a Razian plain theory but that his own model violates this constraint. I suggest how both approaches can be reformulated to satisfy the constraint, and I argue that a reformulated plain theory can also avoid an insufficiency objection. The hybrid approach consequently has no clear advantage over the plain approach.

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