Journal of Philosophical Logic

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 307–323 | Cite as

The Irreducibility of Personal Obligation

  • Jacob Ross


It is argued that claims about personal obligation (of the form “s ought to ϕ”) cannot be reduced to claims about impersonal obligation (of the form “it ought to be the case that p”). The most common attempts at such a reduction are shown to have unacceptable implications in cases involving a plurality of agents. It is then argued that similar problems will face any attempt to reduce personal obligation to impersonal obligation.


Personal obligation Impersonal obligation Meinong-Chisholm reduction Ought Deontic paradoxes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PhilosophyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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