Article/Publication Details

The Exploding ‘Ought’

(Original title: The Exploding ‘Ought’)
Organon F, 2014, vol. 21, No 3, pp. 338-362.
Language: English
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In this paper I wish to discuss so-called principles of inheritance and the familiar claim that it leads to deontic paradoxes. By combining two such paradoxes it will be shown that inheritance amounts to a principle of explosion: supposing that in the actual world there is at least one thing that one ought to do, almost anything is something one ought to do. I will then attempt to qualify the principle of inheritance so as to avoid this and other paradoxical results.


Broome, deontic paradoxes, inheritance, ought, paradox of the Good Samaritan, Ross’s paradox, Wedgwood

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