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  1. added 2020-07-14
    Supererogation and Consequentialism.Alfred Archer - forthcoming - In Douglas W. Portmore (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    The thought that acts of supererogation exist presents a challenge to all normative ethical theories. This chapter will provide an overview of the consequentialist responses to this challenge. I will begin by explaining the problem that supererogation presents for consequentialism. I will then explore consequentialist attempts to deny the existence of acts of supererogation. Next, I will examine a range of act consequentialist attempts to accommodate supererogation: including satisficing consequentialism, dual-ranking act consequentialism and an anti-rationalist form of consequentialism. Finally, I (...)
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  2. added 2020-07-10
    Infinite Value and the Best of All Possible Worlds.Nevin Climenhaga - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2):367-392.
    A common argument for atheism runs as follows: God would not create a world worse than other worlds he could have created instead. However, if God exists, he could have created a better world than this one. Therefore, God does not exist. In this paper I challenge the second premise of this argument. I argue that if God exists, our world will continue without end, with God continuing to create value-bearers, and sustaining and perfecting the value-bearers he has already created. (...)
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  3. added 2020-07-04
    Is Consequentialist Perdurantism in Moral Trouble?Michael Tze-Sung Longenecker - forthcoming - Synthese:1-12.
    There has been a growing worry that perdurantism—and similarly ontologically abundant views—is morally untenable. For perdurantism posits that, coinciding with persons, are person-like objects, and giving them their moral due seems to require giving up prudentially driven self-sacrifice. One way to avoid this charge is to adopt consequentialism. But Mark Johnston has argued that the marriage of consequentialism and perdurantism is in moral trouble. For, depending on the nature of time, consequentialist perdurantists either are unable to do more than one (...)
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  4. added 2020-06-30
    Are There Any Epistemic Consequentialists?Tsung-Hsing Ho - forthcoming - Episteme:1-11.
    Selim Berker argues that epistemic consequentialism is pervasive in epistemology and that epistemic consequentialism is structurally flawed. is incorrect, however. I distinguish between epistemic consequentialism and epistemic instrumentalism and argue that most putative consequentialists should be considered instrumentalists. I also identify the structural problem of epistemic consequentialism Berker attempts to pinpoint and show that epistemic instrumentalism does not have the consequentialist problem.
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  5. added 2020-03-21
    Sen and the Bhagavad Gita: Lessons for a Theory of Justice.Joshua Anderson - 2012 - Asian Philosophy 22 (1):63-74.
    In The Idea of Justice, Amartya Sen, among other things, discusses certain qualities any adequate theory of justice ought to incorporate. Two important qualities a theory of justice should account for are impartiality/objectivity and sensitivity to consequences. In order to motivate his discussion of sensitivity to consequences, Sen discusses the debate between Krishna and Arjuna from the religio-philosophical Hindu text the Bhagavad Gita. According to Sen, Arjuna represents a sensitivity to consequences while Krishna is an archetypal deontologist. In this paper (...)
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  6. added 2019-11-03
    Consequentialism and Collective Action.Brian Hedden - 2020 - Ethics 130 (4):530-554.
    Many consequentialists argue that you ought to do your part in collective action problems like climate change mitigation and ending factory farming because (i) all such problems are triggering cases, in which there is a threshold number of people such that the outcome will be worse if at least that many people act in a given way than if fewer do, and (ii) doing your part in a triggering case maximises expected value. I show that both (i) and (ii) are (...)
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  7. added 2019-09-09
    The Intrinsic Good of Justice.Brian John Rosebury - 2019 - Ratio Juris 32 (2):193-209.
    Some retributivists claim that when we punish wrongdoers we achieve a good: justice. The paper argues that the idea of justice, though rhetorically freighted with positive value, contains only a small core of universally-agreed meaning; and its development in a variety of competing conceptions simply recapitulates, without resolving, debates within the theory of punishment. If, to break this deadlock, we stipulate an expressly retributivist conception of justice, then we should concede that punishment which is just may be morally wrong.
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  8. added 2019-02-05
    The Ethics of Al-Razi.Thérèse-Anne Druart - 1997 - Medieval Philosophy and Theology 6 (1):47-72.
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  9. added 2019-01-15
    How to Be an Actualist and Blame People.Travis Timmerman & Philip Swenson - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility 6.
    The actualism/possibilism debate in ethics concerns the relationship between an agent’s free actions and her moral obligations. The actualist affirms, while the possibilist denies, that facts about what agents would freely do in certain circumstances partly determines that agent’s moral obligations. This paper assesses the plausibility of actualism and possibilism in light of desiderata about accounts of blameworthiness. This paper first argues that actualism cannot straightforwardly accommodate certain very plausible desiderata before offering a few independent solutions on behalf of the (...)
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  10. added 2019-01-08
    The Evil of Refraining to Save: Liu on the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing.Jacob Blair - 2017 - Diametros 52:127-137.
    In a recent article, Xiaofei Liu seeks to defend, from the standpoint of consequentialism, the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing: DDA. While there are various conceptions of DDA, Liu understands it as the view that it is more difficult to justify doing harm than allowing harm. Liu argues that a typical harm doing involves the production of one more evil and one less good than a typical harm allowing. Thus, prima facie, it takes a greater amount of good to justify (...)
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  11. added 2018-10-23
    Recklessness and Uncertainty: Jackson Cases and Merely Apparent Asymmetry.Claire Field - 2019 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (4):391-413.
    Is normative uncertainty like factual uncertainty? Should it have the same effects on our actions? Some have thought not. Those who defend an asymmetry between normative and factual uncertainty typically do so as part of the claim that our moral beliefs in general are irrelevant to both the moral value and the moral worth of our actions. Here I use the consideration of Jackson cases to challenge this view, arguing that we can explain away the apparent asymmetries between normative and (...)
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  12. added 2018-07-22
    Exceeding Expectations: Stochastic Dominance as a General Decision Theory.Christian Tarsney - manuscript
    The principle that rational agents should maximize expected utility or choiceworthiness is intuitively plausible in many ordinary cases of decision-making under uncertainty. But it is less plausible in cases of extreme, low-probability risk (like Pascal's Mugging), and intolerably paradoxical in cases like the St. Petersburg and Pasadena games. In this paper I show that, under certain conditions, stochastic dominance reasoning can capture most of the plausible implications of expectational reasoning while avoiding most of its pitfalls. Specifically, given sufficient background uncertainty (...)
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  13. added 2018-01-09
    Murdering an Accident Victim: A New Objection to the Bare-Difference Argument.Scott Hill - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (4):767-778.
    Many philosophers, psychologists, and medical practitioners believe that killing is no worse than letting die on the basis of James Rachels's Bare-Difference Argument. I show that his argument is unsound. In particular, a premise of the argument is that his examples are as similar as is consistent with one being a case of killing and the other being a case of letting die. However, the subject who lets die has both the ability to kill and the ability to let die (...)
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  14. added 2017-11-22
    Moral Coercion.Saba Bazargan - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    The practices of using hostages to obtain concessions and using human shields to deter aggression share an important characteristic which warrants a univocal reference to both sorts of conduct: they both involve manipulating our commitment to morality, as a means to achieving wrongful ends. I call this type of conduct “moral coercion”. In this paper I (a) present an account of moral coercion by linking it to coercion more generally, (b) determine whether and to what degree the coerced agent is (...)
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  15. added 2017-07-11
    The Unity of Grounding.Selim Berker - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):729-777.
    I argue—contra moderate grounding pluralists such as Kit Fine and more extreme grounding pluralists such as Jessica Wilson—that there is fundamentally only one grounding/in-virtue-of relation. I also argue that this single relation is indispensable for normative theorizing—that we can’t make sense of, for example, the debate over consequentialism without it. It follows from what I argue that there is no metaethically-pure normative ethics.
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  16. added 2017-07-08
    Global Consequentialism and the Morality and Laws of War.Hilary Greaves - forthcoming - In McDermott and Roser Kuosmanen (ed.), Human rights and 21st century challenges. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Rights-based approaches and consequentialist approaches to ethics are often seen as being diametrically opposed to one another. In one sense, they are. In another sense, however, they can be reconciled: a ‘global’ form of consequentialism might supply consequentialist foundations for a derivative morality that is non-consequentialist, and perhaps rights-based, in content. By way of case study to illustrate how this might work, I survey what a global consequentialist should think about a recent dispute between Jeff McMahan and Henry Shue on (...)
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  17. added 2016-08-31
    On Epistemic Consequentialism and the Virtue Conflation Problem.J. Adam Carter & Ian M. Church - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):239-248.
    Addressing the ‘virtue conflation’ problem requires the preservation of intuitive distinctions between virtue types, that is, between intellectual and moral virtues. According to one influential attempt to avoid this problem proposed by Julia Driver, moral virtues produce benefits to others—in particular, they promote the well-being of others—while the intellectual virtues, as such, produce epistemic good for the agent. We show that Driver's demarcation of intellectual virtue, by adverting to the self-/other distinction, leads to a reductio, and ultimately, that the prospects (...)
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  18. added 2016-07-11
    How to Overstretch the Ethics-Epistemology Analogy: Berker’s Critique of Epistemic Consequentialism.Christian Piller - 2016 - In Pedro Schmechtig & Martin Grajner (eds.), Epistemic Reasons, Norms and Goals. De Gruyter. pp. 307-322.
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  19. added 2016-05-31
    Moral Uncertainty and Permissibility: Evaluating Option Sets.Christian Barry & Patrick Tomlin - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (6):1-26.
    In this essay, we explore an issue of moral uncertainty: what we are permitted to do when we are unsure about which moral principles are correct. We develop a novel approach to this issue that incorporates important insights from previous work on moral uncertainty, while avoiding some of the difficulties that beset existing alternative approaches. Our approach is based on evaluating and choosing between option sets rather than particular conduct options. We show how our approach is particularly well-suited to address (...)
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  20. added 2016-03-16
    Do Non-Philosophers Think Epistemic Consequentialism is Counterintuitive?James Andow - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2631-2643.
    Direct epistemic consequentialism is the idea that X is epistemically permissible iff X maximizes epistemic value. It has received lots of attention in recent years and is widely accepted by philosophers to have counterintuitive implications. There are various reasons one might suspect that the relevant intuitions will not be widely shared among non-philosophers. This paper presents an initial empirical study of ordinary intuitions. The results of two experiments demonstrate that the counterintuitiveness of epistemic consequentialism is more than a philosophers' worry---the (...)
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  21. added 2016-01-02
    Multi-Dimensional Consequentialism and Degrees of Rightness.Vuko Andrić & Attila Tanyi - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (3):711-731.
    In his recent book, The Dimensions of Consequentialism, Martin Peterson puts forward a new version of consequentialism that he dubs ‘multidimensional consequentialism’. The defining thesis of the new theory is that there are irreducible moral aspects that jointly determine the deontic status of an act. In defending his particular version of multidimensional consequentialism, Peterson advocates the thesis—he calls it DEGREE—that if two or more moral aspects clash, the act under consideration is right to some non-extreme degree. This goes against the (...)
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  22. added 2015-02-25
    Mere Addition and the Separateness of Persons.Matthew Rendall - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy 112 (8):442-455.
    How can we resist the repugnant conclusion? James Griffin has plausibly suggested that part way through the sequence we may reach a world—let us call it “J”—in which the lives are lexically superior to those that follow. If it would be preferable to live a single life in J than through any number of lives in the next one, then it would be strange to judge K the better world. Instead, we may reasonably “suspend addition” and judge J superior, as (...)
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  23. added 2014-09-22
    Vaulting Intuition: Temkin's Critique of Transitivity.Alex Voorhoeve - 2013 - Economics and Philosophy 29 (3):409-425.
    In 'Rethinking the Good', Larry Temkin makes two core claims. First, the goodness of a distribution is sometimes ‘essentially comparative’ – it sometimes depends on which alternative distribution(s) it is compared to. Second, such cases threaten the transitivity of ‘all things considered better than’. I argue that the goodness of a distribution may indeed depend on what other distributions are feasible. But contrary to Temkin, I also argue that transitivity holds even when the goodness of a distribution depends on the (...)
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  24. added 2014-05-15
    Foundational Consequentialism and Its Primary Evaluative Focal Point.Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    Following Shelly Kagan’s useful terminology, foundational consequentialists are those who hold that the ranking of outcomes is at the foundation of all moral assessment. That is, they hold that moral assessments of right and wrong, virtuous and vicious, morally good and morally bad, etc. are all ultimately a function of how outcomes rank. But foundational consequentialists disagree on what is to be directly evaluated in terms of the ranking of outcomes, which is to say that they disagree on what the (...)
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  25. added 2014-04-01
    The Normative Insignificance of Neuroscience.Selim Berker - 2009 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 37 (4):293-329.
    It has been claimed that the recent wave of neuroscientific research into the physiological underpinnings of our moral intuitions has normative implications. In particular, it has been claimed that this research discredits our deontological intuitions about cases, without discrediting our consequentialist intuitions about cases. In this paper I demur. I argue that such attempts to extract normative conclusions from neuroscientific research face a fundamental dilemma: either they focus on the emotional or evolved nature of the psychological processes underlying deontological intuitions, (...)
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  26. added 2014-03-26
    Reflections on Consequentialism.Lars Bergström - 1996 - Theoria 62 (1-2):74-94.
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  27. added 2014-03-07
    Henry Sidgwick's Moral Epistemology.Anthony Skelton - 2010 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (4):491-519.
    In this essay I defend the view that Henry Sidgwick’s moral epistemology is a form of intuitionist foundationalism that grants common-sense morality no evidentiary role. In §1, I outline both the problematic of The Methods of Ethics and the main elements of its argument for utilitarianism. In §§2-4 I provide my interpretation of Sidgwick’s moral epistemology. In §§ 5-8 I refute rival interpretations, including the Rawlsian view that Sidgwick endorses some version of reflective equilibrium and the view that he is (...)
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  28. added 2014-02-21
    Determinism and the Antiquated Deontology of the Social Sciences.Clint Ballinger - unknown
    This article shows how the social sciences rejected hard determinism by the mid-twentieth century largely on the deontological basis that it is irreconcilable with social justice, yet this rejection came just before a burst of creative development in consequentialist theories of social justice that problematize a facile rejection of determinism on moral grounds, a development that has seldom been recognized in the social sciences. Thus the current social science view of determinism and social justice is antiquated, ignoring numerous common and (...)
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  29. added 2010-07-23
    Wrongness, Welfarism and Evolution: Crisp on Reasons and the Good.Guy Fletcher - 2007 - Ratio 20 (3):341–347.
    A critical notice of Roger Crisp's Reasons and the Good.
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  30. added 2009-11-04
    Consequentialism.Peter Vallentyne - 2007 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), Ethics in Practice 3rd edition. Blackwell.
    Ethics in Practice, 3rd edition, edited by Hugh La Follette (Blackwell Publishers, forthcoming 2007).
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