Category Archives: Deontic theory

Julian Jonker, ‘Contractualist Justification and the Direction of a Duty’

ABSTRACT To whom is a duty owed? Contractualism answers with an interest theory of direction. As such, it faces three challenges. The Conceptual Challenge requires acknowledgment that a duty is conceptually distinct from an interest. The Extensional Challenge requires an account of cases in which one who is owed a duty does not take an […]

Joao Andrade Neto, ‘On the (dis)Similar Properties of Legal and Moral Duties’

ABSTRACT Do legal and moral duties share exactly the same properties? Moral philosophers such as Hare, Searle, and WD Ross believe that moral conflicts exist in which an individual has equally good reasons to fulfil two or more obligations that cannot be simultaneously satisfied. In such cases, they say, one has ‘reasons other things being […]

John Gardner, ‘Damages Without Duty’

ABSTRACT Stephen Smith argues against what he calls ‘the duty view’ of damages awards in private law. The duty view is the view according to which ‘damage[s] awards confirm existing legal duties to pay damages.’ I am credited with advancing ‘the most plausible’ version of the duty view – namely, the ‘inchoate duty view’ according […]

‘Legal Theory Lexicon: Deontology’

“A prior Legal Theory Lexicon post explored utilitarianism, an approach to normative moral theory that has had an enormous influence on legal thought. This week, I take up one of utilitarianism’s main rivals, deonotology. Deontological moral theories vary in myriad ways, but the focal point for deontology is the concept of duty with its correlative […]

David Enoch, ‘Playing the Hand You’re Dealt: How Moral Luck Is Different from Morally Significant Plain Luck (And Probably Doesn’t Exist)’

ABSTRACT What you ought to do is sensitive to circumstances that are not under your control, or to luck. So plain luck is often morally significant. Still, some of us think that there’s no moral luck – that praiseworthiness and blameworthiness are not sensitive to luck. What explains this asymmetry between the luck-sensitivity of ought-judgments […]

Carl Fox, ‘What’s Special About the Insult of Paternalism?’

ABSTRACT A common assumption is that paternalism generates a special, and especially grievous, insult. Identifying this distinctive insult is then presented as the key to unlocking the concept and determining its moral significance. I submit that there is no special insult. It is, rather, a particular form that a lack of recognition respect can take. […]

Maria Canellopoulou-Bottis, ‘Utilitarianism v Deontology: A Philosophy for Copyright’

Abstract The Anglosaxon copyright system is founded upon theories of utilitarianism, whereas the European system, generally upon deontology. A series of particular traits aid us at the identification of which theory a copyright system supports. For example, the management of the moral rights of authors and creators shows this difference very eloquently. In Europe, starting […]

Oskari Juurikkala, ‘Law and Virtue: An Economic Analysis’

Abstract Classical virtue theory has received limited attention in economics. The paper demonstrates its fruitfulness for economic and legal analysis by linking the traditional ethical literature with modern law and economics. Virtues are interpreted as a theory of moral psychology, and applied to economic theory, with comparisons against other behavioral models in economics. It is […]

Yona Gal, ‘Private Law, Public Right and the Duty to Rescue’

Abstract This thesis explores the normative framework of private law from the standpoint of corrective justice. After identifying problems in the classic model of Kantian corrective justice, it argues that these difficulties can be remedied by modifying the reliance of corrective justice upon Kantian legal philosophy. Further, by returning to an equality-based approach grounded in […]

Florian and Stremitzer, ‘Moral Institutions of Promise Keeping’

Abstract Promises are a pervasive and important feature of real-world economic exchange situations. We investigate lay peoples’ intuition of promise keeping. We study the effect of mutual promises, the dynamic of promising and performance over time, the effect of continuous as opposed to binary performance decisions, the effect of income, and the role the receipt […]