Please take a look at the following argument from an LSAT:

We know that there can be no obligation to an entity unless that entity has a corresponding right. Therefore, if we have no obligation towards an entity, that entity has no rights.

I vaguely sensed there is a difference between "an obligation to X" and "an obligation towards X". (Let X be an entity.) 'To' suggests a more direct relation than 'towards', which can mean concerning or in the direction of.

But is there any case that I have no obligation towards X, but then I still have an obligation to X?

1 Answer 1


I can imagine making a distinction between an obligation to and an obligation towards, but I don't think that's what the question is about. (I therefore think the question is badly written, because the irrelevant to/towards distinction distracts from the logical distinction they actually have in mind.)

I will not explain what I think the question is about, in case this is a test you're actually taking :-). But it has nothing to do with a possible to/towards distinction.

  • Thank you for your answer, Gareth McCaughan. I see that the question has an issue that it relates corresponding rights to rights in general and another that it commits logically invalid reversal from negating the sufficient condition to conclude a negation of the necessary condition. However, I would be really thankful if someone could help explain how "an obligation toward" is different from "an obligation to".
    – Lenny
    Apr 18, 2021 at 6:11

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