Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Volume 14, Issue 3, 2014

Jörg Löschke
Pages 293-308

Second-Personal Reasons and Special Obligations

The paper discusses the second-personal account of moral obligation as put forward by Stephen Darwall. It argues that on such an account, an important part of our moral practice cannot be explained, namely special obligations that are grounded in special relationships between persons. After highlighting the problem, the paper discusses several strategies to accommodate such special obligations that are implicit in some of Darwall’s texts, most importantly a disentanglement strategy and a reductionist strategy. It argues that neither one of these strategies is entirely convincing. The last part of the papers sketches a novel account of how to accommodate special obligations in a second-personal framework: According to this suggestion, special obligations might be due to the fact that relationships change the normative authority that persons have over each other.