Negative Duties, Positive Duties, and the “New Harms”

  • Lichtenberg J
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Abstract

Common sense that there are stronger duteis not to harm than to bring aid. In part this has force becasue it is easy not to harm - don't murder, rape etc. But it turns out that many of our most humdrum activities harm people. "Not harming people turns out to be difficult and to require our undivided attention." Aim to make progress on the question of why negative duties seem more acceptable and whether they still will once the New Harms are understood. My thesis is that the contrast is much less sharp than we think. It is desirable to make it easier for people to fulfil all their duties - positive and negative.

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Authors

  • Judith Lichtenberg

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