Responsibility and the demands of morality

Stephen J. White*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Is it a good objection to a moral theory that it demands a great deal of individual agents? I argue that if we interpret the question to be about the potential welfare costs associated with our moral obligations, the answer must be "no." However, the demands a moral theory makes can also be measured in terms of what it requires us to take responsibility for. I argue that this is distinct from what we may be required to do or give up, and that it provides a conception of demandingness that makes better sense of our intuitive reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-338
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Moral Philosophy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017


  • agent-centered prerogative
  • answerability
  • demandingness
  • impartiality
  • responsibility
  • utilitarianism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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