Moral Uncertainty and Its Consequences

By Ted Lockhart | Go to book overview

Notes

Chapter 1
1.
I assume that I cannot do both y and z in the situation and, moreover, that it is not the case that I should, all things considered, perform each of two mutually exclusive alternatives. One who denies the latter claim must hold that there can be dilemmas in which one should, all things considered, do each of two or more mutually exclusive things. Since such a notion of what we should do, all things considered, would sometimes tell us to do the impossible, it is not particularly helpful to decision- makers. Therefore, I shall conceive "all things considered" so that there cannot be such situations. However, this says nothing about moral dilemmas of other types, which I shall discuss later on.
2.
However, I should warn the reader that in later discussion I shall identify multiple moral standards for action choice/appraisal. Thus there will be a sense in which an action can be morally permissible, i.e., morally right, according to the ordinary moral standard of right and wrong, without being morally permissible according to a different moral standard, and conversely.
3.
Peter Singer in his writings has advocated radically altruistic reforms in our (i.e., Americans' and members of other modern industrialized countries') views about our moral obligations as individuals to help relieve poverty and suffering in underdeveloped countries. A sizable philosophical literature on the subject has developed in recent years. See, for example, Peter Singer, "Famine, Affluence, and Morality," Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 ( 1971-1972), pp. 229-243, and Practical Ethics ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), chap. 8. More recently, Shelly Kagan has defended

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Moral Uncertainty and Its Consequences
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Contents xv
  • One Decision-Making Under Moral Uncertainty 3
  • Two Principles for Decision-Making Under Moral Uncertainty 22
  • Three Abortion and Moral Uncertainty 50
  • Conclusions 72
  • Four Degrees of Moral Rightness 74
  • Conclusions 96
  • Five Shall I Act Supererogatorily? 98
  • Conclusions 110
  • Six Confidentiality and Moral Uncertainty 111
  • Conclusions 122
  • Seven a Decision-Theoretic Reconstruction of Roe V. Wade 124
  • Conclusions 140
  • Eight Long-Run Morality 143
  • Nine Retrospective 169
  • Appendix: Decisions with Uncertain Probabilities 171
  • Notes 177
  • Index 207
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