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On What MattersVolume Three$
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Derek Parfit

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778608

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198778608.001.0001

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Deontological Principles

Deontological Principles

Chapter:
(p.369) 56 Deontological Principles
Source:
On What Matters
Author(s):

Derek Parfit

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198778608.003.0021

This chapter considers the harm principle. According to this principle, our negative duties not to harm people are much stronger than our positive duties to make things go better by saving people from being harmed. One of two duties would be stronger in the cost-requiring sense if we would be morally required to bear greater burdens, if that were necessary, to fulfil this duty. One of two duties would be stronger in the conflict-of-duty sense if this duty would be stronger than the other when these duties conflict. Our negative duties not to harm people may be much stronger in the cost-requiring sense than our positive duties to save people from being harmed. But these negative duties are not, this chapter argues, much stronger in the conflict-of-duty sense.

Keywords:   harm principle, means principle, negative duties, conflict of duties, positive duties, harm

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