As noted, Ross's particularist methodology claims to resolve such conflict by identifying the absolute obligation--an obligation already embedded in the situation if not as yet clearly discerned--by sifting through the list of prima facie duties as a preliminary to identifying which should take precedence.
On one occasion Bartholomeusz makes use of the theory of prima facie duties to provide a theoretical explanation for the views of informants.
27) And Robert Audi claims that his list of prima facie duties
is self-evident where "a self-evident proposition is knowable without our relying on any inferential ground for it.
There may be slightly different sets of prima facie duties
for biomedical ethics, legal ethics, business ethics, and journalistic ethics, for example.
In the theory of prima facie duties
it will usually be wrong to lie, but sometimes it will be right.
You can't simultaneously fulfill all these prima facie duties
He proposes an account which has all of the common sense appeal of Ross-style pluralism, plus a consequentialist principle which justifies all of the first-order prima facie duties
which are constitutive of the Rossian approach, and hence can be used as a guide to their selection.
In the latter case of moral disagreement, Kaspar suggests that many moral disagreements arise because different people seize upon different and conflicting prima facie duties
that are present in the contested case.
If prima facie duties
are (what we might call) principles of moral salience, it is a further question whether they are morally basic--that is whether there is any underlying principle from which they can all be derived.