Ned Markosian


The main question addressed in this paper is: What is the most promising ethical theory (specifying necessary and sufficient conditions for any action’s being morally right) that can be formulated in terms of the notion of a prima facie duty? I try to show that the answer to this question involves an ethical theory that, despite never having been discussed, is nevertheless worthy of serious consideration. The theory, Rossian Minimalism, says, roughly, that an act, A, is morally right iff no alternative to A would constitute less of a violation of prima facie duties than A.