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Pseudo-appeals to conscience


Pseudo-appeals to conscience stress that the dictates of conscience are always either morally obligatory or at least not morally wrong. These appeals are untenable. They result in an indefensible moral relativism. They should be abandoned.

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Thanks are due to the National Endowment for the Humanities for financial support; my conclusions do not necessarily represent the view of the Endowment. For incisive criticisms of early drafts I am indebted to Richard M. Hare, Geoffrey Marshall, Tibor Machan, and Conrad Brunk. For stimulating discussions on these topics my thanks go to all of the above and to Brenda Cohen, Ruth Marcus, William Earle, Basil Mitchell, Bernard Dauenhauer, and Charles Daniels. Most of all, however, my thanks go to Harry Henig for invaluable inspiration in this area.

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Kordig, C.R. Pseudo-appeals to conscience. J Value Inquiry 10, 7–17 (1976).

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  • Moral Relativism