a1 The University of Kent at Canterbury, The George Washington University
In this paper I propose to set out, and argue for, a theory of what makes acts morally permissible. The claims about morality that I shall be advancing will be minimalist. By this I mean that the scope of the theory will be restricted to as small a class of acts or courses of action as possible, and its bearing on the members of that class to as narrow a range of characteristics as possible. My starting point is that, as Dostoevsky put it, 'everything is permitted'– unless there prove to be good reasons why it cannot be.