Utilitas

Research Article

Are Some Prima Facie Duties More Binding than Others?

MICHAEL ROBINSONa1

a1 Florida State University mer05e@fsu.edu

Abstract

In The Right and the Good, W. D. Ross commits himself to the view that, in addition to being distinct and defeasible, some prima facie duties are more binding than others. David McNaughton has argued that there appears to be no way of making sense of this claim that is both coherent and consistent with Ross's overall picture. I offer an alternative way of understanding Ross's remarks about the comparative stringency of prima facie duties, which, in addition to being compatible with his view as presented in the text, provides us with a coherent, and indeed plausible, account of what it means for some duties to be more binding than others.