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Moral Writings$
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H. A. Prichard and Jim MacAdam

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250196

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199250197.001.0001

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Moral Obligation

Moral Obligation

Chapter:
(p.163) 9. Moral Obligation
Source:
Moral Writings
Author(s):

H. A. Prichard

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199250197.003.0009

Examines four principle questions about moral obligation raised by key philosophers: (1) Plato asks in The Republic ‘Will a man be better off for doing his duty?’; (2) Plato then asks ‘Ought man to do his duty?’; (3) we may also ask ‘What is the criterion of a duty?’; and (4) we may ask ‘What is moral obligation?’ Rejecting the last question as unreal, Prichard then argues against the connection between duty and happiness or duty and personal or general advantage. After critiquing both teleological and quasi‐teleological theories of obligation, he ends by contrasting goodness and obligation.

Keywords:   duty, goodness, happiness, obligation, Plato, quasi‐teleological, teleological, The Republic

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