Summary Of What Makes Right Acts Right By W. D. Ross

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In W.D. Ross’ “What Makes Right Acts Right” Ross examines the different moral theories already out there such as Utilitarianism and Kantianism and essentially takes what he likes from these theories and adds his own twist to create his moral theory. In this theory he describes how a moral theory cannot be formulated with an automated response regardless of the situation, an example of this uniform decision is deciding what to course of action to take based on the promotion of the greater good(Utilitarianism). Ross explains that in making decisions we are motivated by a series of ‘prima facie duties’ with regards to relation, this term can be defined as a conditional duty. In every situation in which we are forced to make a decision there are…show more content…
In response to the question you may have just asked, “How do we acquire these self-evident principles?” Ross has a response, he states that “these general principles become self-evident to us just as mathematical axioms do. We find by experience that two couples of balls on a wire make four balls: and by reflection on these and similar discoveries we come to see that it is of the nature of two and to make four” (125). This comparison to mathematical axioms demonstrates how we reflect upon decisions we make and what prima facie duty motivated them. Addition support for premise one is Ross personally saying “when forming a considered opinion it is never more that in the circumstances one of the prima facie duties is more incumbent than any other” (125). This can only mean that in order to fundamentally make a moral decision you must side with at least but no more than one prima facie duty in order to personally make a decision. Premise two isn’t directly supported as I believe Ross believes it is an understood…show more content…
What I mean by this is I can fully understand and accept the most necessary duty for me, but still not fully comprehend if that duty is moral or not as Ross doesn’t give a framework for the actual morality of actions. He mainly just provides insight as to why I would feel obligated to perform a certain duty over a different course of action. I believe he would respond to this by saying the moral thing to do is what duty ultimately means more to you is the moral thing to do. In response I would argue that at certain points in my life I have been faced with multiple duties that I couldn’t deem one more necessary than the other and therefore took no action at all. For

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