Is it possible to do harm out of an excess of morality? In his novel Adolphe, Benjamin Constant suggests that it is all too easy for moral individuals to do harm in a modern, pluralist society like post-revolutionary France. Better known as a politician and writer of essays, Constant resorted to literature to convey his fear that the freedom to determine one's own morality would lead to a dangerous ethical impasse. Adolphe's disastrous actions result not so much from a defect in character as from a principled effort to satisfy all potential demands of morality, those deriving from absolute principles and those pertaining to the foreseeable consequences of one's actions.