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Philosophical Studies

, Volume 172, Issue 9, pp 2279–2298 | Cite as

Does it matter whether we do wrong?

  • Adam KadlacEmail author
Article

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between monadic and bipolar forms of normativity. As the distinction is usually drawn, monadic normativity concerns whether a given action is right or wrong while bipolar normativity concerns who, if anyone, is wronged in any putative instance of wrongdoing. My central thesis is that in the moral realm, we do well to discard the notion of monadic normativity altogether and focus instead on the contours and limits of bipolar normativity. For by placing greater weight on the significance of wronging particular others, as opposed to simply doing something wrong, we get a more compelling picture of the distinctive importance of morality and its relationship to other norms that govern our lives.

Keywords

Monadic normativity Bipolar normativity Well-being Human flourishing Scope of morality 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Emily Austin, Brad Cokelet, Christian Miller, Adam Pelser, and an anonymous reviewer for very helpful feedback on this paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wake Forest UniversityWinston SalemUSA

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