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Human Rights and Human Well-Being$
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William Talbott

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173482

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173482.001.0001

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The Main Principle

The Main Principle

Chapter:
(p.48) THREE The Main Principle
Source:
Human Rights and Human Well-Being
Author(s):

William J. Talbott (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173482.003.0003

This chapter introduces a consequentialist meta-theoretic sufficient condition for a change in moral practices to be a moral improvement, the main principle. The chapter introduces the main principle by considering a series of examples of exceptions to libertarianism, especially to norms against coercion. The chapter also considers various purported counterexamples to consequentialist principles, including Nozick’s Wilt Chamberlain example. The chapter presents the main principle as a multiple time-slice end-state principle of moral reciprocity and explains the key terms, though he can’t define here.

Keywords:   allocative justice, consequentialism, distributive justice, equity, historical principle, implementation practice, libertarianism, life prospects, main principle, moral reciprocity, substantive practice, utilitarianism

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