Abstract Agent-relative restrictions prohibit minimizing violations: that is, they require us not to minimize the total number of their violations by violating them ourselves. Frances Kamm has explained this prohibition in terms of the moral worth of persons, which, in turn, she explains in terms of persons' high moral status as inviolable beings. I press the following criticism of this account: even if minimizing violations are permissible, we need not have a lower moral status provided other determinants thereof boost it. Thus, Kamm's account is incomplete at best. And when, to address this incompleteness, it is insisted that our moral worth derives from specific moral statuses, the inviolability account comes to seem deficient because it begs the question against those who are not initially persuaded that minimizing violations are impermissible.
Res Publica, 2009, Vol 15, Issue 2, p. 165-178
Deontology - Agent-relative restrictions - Inviolability - Moral status - Frances M. Kamm