Defeasible Commitment and Prima Facie Obligation
The iffy oughts of ordinary language are a logically heterogeneous group. As we have seen, a given sentence with ‘if’ and ‘ought’ may express any of several different sorts of proposition. As I see it, this fact is responsible for one of the most serious defects in the literature concerning iffy oughts. We frequently find cases in which one writer, focussing on one sort of iffy ought, proposes an analysis. He claims to have given an account of “conditional obligation”. A critic, appealing to examples of another sort of iffy ought, claims thereby to have shown the analysis defective. Obviously, however, the criticism misfires, since the two writers are talking about different classes of sentences.
KeywordsPrima Facie Ordinary Language Injured Person Probabilistic Requirement Epistemic Probability
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Notes to Chapter 6
- 1.W. D. Ross, The Right and the Good (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1930), p. 21.Google Scholar
- 2.Ross, op. cit., pp. 41–42.Google Scholar
- 3.See above, Chapter 4, Section 2.Google Scholar
- 8.R. M. Chisholm, ‘The Ethics of Requirement,’ American Philosophical Quarterly I (1964), 147–153.Google Scholar
- 9.Op. cit., p. 147.Google Scholar
- 13.Op. cit., p. 149.1 have taken the liberty of shifting the position of a quantifier.Google Scholar
- 14.Op. cit., p. 150.1 have taken the liberty of changing a ‘q’ to a ‘p’.Google Scholar
- 16.Op. cit., p. 150.Google Scholar
- 17a.Op. cit., p. 148Google Scholar
- 17b.R. M. Chisholm, ‘The Ethics of Requirement,’ American Philosophical Quarterly I (1964) pp. 150–151.Google Scholar
- 19.Chisholm, op. cit., p. 150.Google Scholar