Year of Graduation


Level of Access

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Department or Program


First Advisor

Sarah Conly

Second Advisor

Scott Sehon


This project explores the logical structure of moral dilemmas. I introduce the notion of genuine contingent moral dilemmas, as well as basic topics in deontic logic. I then examine two formal arguments claiming that dilemmas are logically impossible. Each argument relies on certain principles of normative reasoning sometimes accepted as axioms of deontic logic. I argue that the principle of agglomeration and a statement of entailment of obligations are both not basic to ethical reasoning, concluding that dilemmas will be admissible under some logically consistent ethical theories. In the final chapter, I examine some consequences of admitting dilemmas into a theory, in particular how doing so complicates assignment of blame.