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.
There may be slightly different sets of prima facie duties for biomedical ethics, legal ethics, business ethics, and journalistic ethics, for example.
The domain we selected was medical ethics, consistent with our choice of prima facie duties, and, in particular, a representative type of ethical dilemma that involves three of the four principles of biomedical ethics: respect for autonomy, nonmaleficence, and beneficence.
In the theory of prima facie duties it will usually be wrong to lie, but sometimes it will be right.
They encounter little of the moral risk which is inherent in Ross's theory of prima facie duties. Rambert and Paneloux are more interesting because they are forced to decide between conflicting values: Rambert's desire to be with someone he loves is at odds with the duty to combat (and not to risk spreading) the plague; Paneloux's horror at the suffering caused by the plague sits uneasily with his belief that it is the will of God.
The lack of a definitive ordering does not mean that each of these prima facie duties
is somehow an actual duty which you must perform on pain of being irrational.
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.
8-5), prima facie duties are neither prima facie nor duties.
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.
Specifically, he worries that proposed definitions of prima facie duty are incoherent, circular or uninformative and that a theory of prima facie duties
cannot give a plausible account of some of the phenomena it is supposed to explain, especially how competing reasons are related to one's overall decision.
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.