Courses of conduct

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter begins with an argument nearly everyone will reject as unsound. The chapter rejects it too. What is far less obvious, however, is exactly what is wrong with the argument. Despite skeptical challenges from both sides, the chapter tentatively concludes that the best solution to this problem consists in construing some instances of behavior as a course of conduct rather than as a discrete set of acts and omissions. When behavior consists in a course of conduct, it is a complex that consists in both acts and omissions. Attempts to pigeon-hole such behavior as either an act or an omission without regard to the complex in which both play a part are bound to produce philosophical distortion and normative confusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Ethics and Law of Omissions
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780190683450
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


  • Continuing act doctrine
  • Contractual duty
  • Course of conduct
  • Creation of a peril
  • Omission
  • Statutory duty


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