Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

CEPPA Talk (online) – Matthew Liao (NYU)

December 14, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Title: Threshold Deontology: Some Lessons from Vagueness

Abtract: Threshold Deontology is the view that the positive consequences of an act do not normally override moral constraints, but when the positive balance of the consequences of an act is sufficiently great, it may be morally permitted, and possibly required to engage in an act that is otherwise morally prohibited. While many people find Threshold Deontology attractive, there are a number of issues regarding its nature and its structure that are under explored.  For instance, suppose that there is a threshold above which a moral constraint against killing an innocent person becomes overridden.  Where is this threshold?  How do we identify it?  In addition, what happens after one crosses this threshold?  Does one become a full-on act-consequentialist?  Drawing on the literature on vagueness, I shall argue that there is a sharp threshold for killing and that it is difficult for us to know where this threshold lies because in a certain range of cases, our moral faculty is not sufficiently reliable to be able to weigh competing moral values.  I shall also explain why one does not become a consequentialist once one crosses the threshold for killing.

Location: Teams (online only)


December 14, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Enrico Galvagni


Microsoft Teams