o 2 It accommodates the intuitively appealing idea that personal relationships

O 2 it accommodates the intuitively appealing idea

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o 2. It accommodates the intuitively appealing idea that personal relationships have moral significance. The fact that we make a promise to someone, and in a sense enter a relationship with that person, counts directly in determining what we ought to do in response. o 3. It deals plausibly with conflict of duty situations.
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Page 5 of 5 Rules of prima facie duty can be overridden and thus the theory avoids the kind of inconsistency that threatens whenever supposedly exceptionless moral rules come into conflict. It satisfies the standard of consistency. Ross’s theories faces certain challenges the concern: o 1. The apparent unconnectedness of the various prima facie duties. o 2. Its apparent overdemandingness. o 3. Its indeterminacy. o 4. The apparent arbitrariness of moral judgment. o 5. Its intuitionist epistemology. The Unconnected-Heap Problem o Ross’s prima facie duties seem to be an unconnected heap of duties with nothing that ties them together so that they can be clearly understood as representing moral requirements. o One response to this critic is to view Ross’s moral rules as an interpretation of the vague notion of respect for person (from Kant’s formulation of the Categorical Imperative) and, in doing so, be able to view them as having a kind of interconnection that makes sense of the idea that they express moral requirements. The Overdemandingness Problem o Ross claims that value-based prima facie duties oblige us to produce as much good as possible, or minimize the bad effects of our actions on others. o Ross’s moral theory seems overdemanding in its claim that on all or most occasions we have some duty or other to discharge. It has the same problem raised against maximizing version of Ut: it fails to fit with certain of our considered moral beliefs. E.g. there’s nothing wrong with just relaxing. o One response to this critique would be to distinguish between something’s being a moral consideration that favors performing some action and something’s counting as a ground for a prima facie duty. The Problem of Indeterminacy o A moral theory is indeterminate when, with respect to some moral issue or range of issues, it fails to yield moral verdicts about such cases—it fails to imply any unambiguous conclusion about the deontic status of the actions in question. o Ross’s theory is indeterminate when it comes to verdicts about one’s actual duty since the rules of the theory fail to imply any determinate conclusions about such duties. Moral Judgment and the Problem of Arbitrariness o The complaint here is that the conclusion about actual duties that one arrives at will depend on one’s moral sensibility, and since thoughtful people’s moral sensibilities often differ, and since Ross vies us no clue for determining which from among conflicting sensibilities might be correct, there is a kind of arbitrariness in coming to conclusions about actual duties on the basis of moral judgment. Refer to the response to this on page 207 if you care. Intuitionism o Intuitionism in ethics is the view that some moral claims are self-evident and can be known through an appropriate grasp of those claims.
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  • Spring '07
  • Kaplan
  • Ethics, Prima facie, Value theory, Prima Facie Duties

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