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Abstract

In this paper I argue that the best form of deontology is one understood in terms of prima facie duties. I outline how these duties are to be understood and show how they offer a plausible and elegant connection between the reason why we ought to do certain acts, the normative reasons we have to do these acts, the reason why moral agents will do them, and the reasons certain people have to resent someone who does not do them. I then argue that this form of deontology makes it harder to unify a pluralistic ethics under a single consequentialist principle in a plausible way, and illustrate this with reference to Rob Shaver's consequentialist arguments.