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Prima Facie Duties

Prima facie duties are moral obligations or responsibilities that can be used to determine what we ought to do. The concept of prima facie duties was originally proposed by Sir W. David Ross, a Scottish philosopher in his classic book The Right and the Good, published in 1930. Prima facie duties are based on morally significant relations between individuals that should be upheld with our actions. The relations are duties or obligations we are required to perform to behave in a moral fashion. A prima facie duty is binding unless overridden by another prima facie duty. Since there are several prima facie duties, Ross suggested that there are also guidelines to aid in determining which duty takes precedence when two conflict. Prima facie duties are ...

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