The Obligation Dilemma

ISBN : 9780190050856

Ishtiyaque Haji
312 Pages
140 x 210 mm
Pub date
Oct 2019
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Can you be morally obligated to do something? To renowned philosopher Ishtiyaque Haji, the answer is guardedly no. Regardless of whether determinism is true, he argues, there is a prima facie plausibility that there are no moral obligations. Powerfully and efficiently, Haji develops a conclusion that has major implications for how we conceive issues in moral responsibility and free will. The book develops the obligation dilemma as clearly as possible. The next step will be for further sustained philosophical work to solve it, assuming it can be resolved, inspired by Haji.
In many respects, the obligation dilemma mirrors the well-known responsibility dilemma, where no one is morally responsible for anything. When suitably amended, the strongest recommendations in favor of, or in response to, the responsibility dilemma neither fully support nor undermine the obligation dilemma. Exposing the obligation dilemma's implications for responsibility, and its ramifications for forgiveness (something central to interpersonal relationships), underscores its urgency.


Chapter 1. Freedom and Obligation: A Dilemma
Chapter 2. Determinism and Obligation
Chapter 3. Indeterminism and Obligation
Chapter 4. The Extended Luck Problem
Chapter 5. Obligation and Responsibility
Chapter 6. Does Obligation Require Weak or Strong Alternatives?
Chapter 7. Obligation and Forgiveness
Chapter 8. Options and Challenges
Appendix A. The Actual Sequence Proposal
Appendix B. Some Other Responses to the O-Luck Problem

About the author: 

Ishtiyaque Haji is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Calgary. His research areas are in ethical theory, philosophy of action, metaphysics, and philosophical psychology. He is author of Luck's Mischief (2016) and Reason's Debt to Freedom (2012), both with Oxford University Press.

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