R. F. Holland: Absolute Ethics and the Challenge of Compassion

Heidi Northwood


In the moral dilemmas that are so often used in undergraduate ethics cours-es, students are confronted with a choice between ‘doing the right thing’, which has horrible consequences, and doing something which seems wrong but has a ‘happier’ result. In this way, these dilemmas appear almost to be primers for consequentialist thinking. Given the way such ex-amples are usually set up, students are forced to find sense in choosing ‘the lesser of the two evils’.


20th century philosophy; Ajax; Holland Roy Fraser; Odysseus; Swansea school; Wittgenstein Ludwig; absolute ethics; compassion; consequentialist ethics; ethics of foregoing; limitless suffering; moral dilemma; philosophy

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