An Argument From Extreme Cases?

  • D. Z. Phillips
Part of the Swansea Studies in Philosophy book series (SWSP)


William Davie does not want to adjudicate in the recent debate between Philippa Foot and myself, but he does want to comment on it.1 The debate concerns whether moral ‘musts’ are categorical or hypothetical. Davie would like to drop this terminology altogether in favour of a consideration of examples piecemeal. First, however, it is as well to be clear about the character of the dispute between Foot and myself.


Extreme Case Moral Belief Moral Dilemma Moral Action Moral Consideration 
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  1. 1.
    William Davie, ‘The Extreme Case in Ethics’, Philosophical Investigations 3, no. 1 (Winter 1980).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    On this whole issue see J. L. Stocks, Morality and Purpose, ed. with an Introduction by D. Z. Phillips (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1969). The Introduction forms Chapter 13 below.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See John Anderson’s papers on ethics in Studies in Empirical Philosophy (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1962)Google Scholar
  4. and Rush Rhees, ‘Responsibility to Society’ in Without Answers (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1969).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    For the latter possibility see Peter Winch, ‘Moral Integrity’ in Ethics and Action (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972). Again, see p. 78 of this collection.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Z. Phillips 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Z. Phillips
    • 1
  1. 1.University College of SwanseaUK

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