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Consequentialize This

Ethics 121 (4):749-771 (2011)

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  1. Consequentialism and the Agent's Point of View.Nathan Robert Howard - forthcoming - Ethics.
    I propose and defend a novel view called ‘de se consequentialism’, which is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it demonstrates — contra Doug Portmore, Mark Schroeder, Campbell Brown, and Michael Smith, among others — that a consequentialist theory employing agent-neutral value is logically consistent with agent-centered constraints. Second, de se consequentialism clarifies both the nature of agent-centered constraints and why philosophers have found them puzzling, thereby meriting attention from even dedicated non-consequentialists. Scrutiny reveals that moral theories in general, whether consequentialist (...)
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  • Killing to Prevent Killings?: An Exemplary Discussion of Deontic Restrictions' Place, Point, and Justifiability.Roland Hesse - 2020 - Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.
    Is it permissible to kill an innocent person against her will in order to prevent several other innocent persons from being killed against their will? The answer to which this essay comes after extensive discussion is – under certain conditions and limitations – affirmative. On the way to this answer, the book offers a comprehensive in-depth discussion of so-called deontic restrictions – that is, the idea of an action’s being prohibited in circumstances in which performing it once would be the (...)
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  • Teleology, Agent‐Relative Value, and 'Good'.Mark Schroeder - 2007 - Ethics 117 (2):265-000.
    It is now generally understood that constraints play an important role in commonsense moral thinking and generally accepted that they cannot be accommodated by ordinary, traditional consequentialism. Some have seen this as the most conclusive evidence that consequentialism is hopelessly wrong,1 while others have seen it as the most conclusive evidence that moral common sense is hopelessly paradoxical.2 Fortunately, or so it is widely thought, in the last twenty-five years a new research program, that of Agent-Relative Teleology, has come to (...)
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  • Predicting Divine Action.Hugh Burling - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (4):785-801.
    This article sets out a formal procedure for determining the probability that God would do a specified action, using our moral knowledge and understanding God as a perfect being. To motivate developing the procedure I show how natural theology – design arguments, the problems of evil and divine hiddenness, and the treatment of miracles and religious experiences as evidence for claims about God – routinely appeals to judgments involving these probabilities. To set out the procedure, I describe a decision-theoretic model (...)
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  • Consequentializing and its Consequences.S. Schroeder - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (6):1475-1497.
    Recently, a number of philosophers have argued that we can and should “consequentialize” non-consequentialist moral theories, putting them into a consequentialist framework. I argue that these philosophers, usually treated as a group, in fact offer three separate arguments, two of which are incompatible. I show that none represent significant threats to a committed non-consequentialist, and that the literature has suffered due to a failure to distinguish these arguments. I conclude by showing that the failure of the consequentializers’ arguments has implications (...)
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  • Aggregating Causal Judgments.Richard Bradley, Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (4):491-515.
    Decision-making typically requires judgments about causal relations: we need to know the causal effects of our actions and the causal relevance of various environmental factors. We investigate how several individuals' causal judgments can be aggregated into collective causal judgments. First, we consider the aggregation of causal judgments via the aggregation of probabilistic judgments, and identify the limitations of this approach. We then explore the possibility of aggregating causal judgments independently of probabilistic ones. Formally, we introduce the problem of causal-network aggregation. (...)
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  • Is Anything Just Plain Good?Mahrad Almotahari & Adam Hosein - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (6):1485-1508.
    Geach and Thomson have argued that nothing is just plain good, because ‘good’ is, logically, an attributive adjective. The upshot, according to Geach and Thomson, is that consequentialism is unacceptable, since its very formulation requires a predicative use of ‘good’. Reactions to the argument have, for the most part, been uniform. Authors have converged on two challenging objections . First, although the logical tests that Geach and Thomson invoke clearly illustrate that ‘good’, as commonly used, is an attributive, they don’t (...)
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  • Double Effect, Doing and Allowing, and the Relaxed Nonconsequentialist.Fiona Woollard - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup2):142-158.
    Many philosophers display relaxed scepticism about the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing and the Doctrine of Double Effect, suspecting, without great alarm, that one or both of these Doctrines is indefensible. This relaxed scepticism is misplaced. Anyone who aims to endorse a theory of right action with Nonconsequentialist implications should accept both the DDA and the DDE. First, even to state a Nonconsequentialist theory requires drawing a distinction between respecting and promoting values. This cannot be done without accepting some deontological (...)
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  • Assessing Lives, Giving Supernaturalism Its Due, and Capturing Naturalism: Reply to 13 Critics of Meaning in Life (Repr.).Thaddeus Metz - 2015 - In Masahiro Morioka (ed.), Reconsidering Meaning in Life: A Philosophical Dialogue with Thaddeus Metz. Waseda University. pp. 228-278.
    A lengthy reply to 13 critical discussions of _Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study_ collected in an e-book and reprinted from the _Journal of Philosophy of Life_. The contributors are from a variety of philosophical traditions, including the Anglo-American, Continental and East Asian (especially Buddhist and Japanese) ones.
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  • Epistemic Teleology and the Separateness of Propositions.Selim Berker - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (3):337-393.
    When it comes to epistemic normativity, should we take the good to be prior to the right? That is, should we ground facts about what we ought and ought not believe on a given occasion in facts about the value of being in certain cognitive states (such as, for example, the value of having true beliefs)? The overwhelming answer among contemporary epistemologists is “Yes, we should.” This essay argues to the contrary. Just as taking the good to be prior to (...)
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  • Non-Compliance Shouldn't Be Better.Andrew T. Forcehimes & Luke Semrau - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):46-56.
    Agent-relative consequentialism is thought attractive because it can secure agent-centred constraints while retaining consequentialism's compelling idea—the idea that it is always permissible to bring about the best available outcome. We argue, however, that the commitments of agent-relative consequentialism lead it to run afoul of a plausibility requirement on moral theories. A moral theory must not be such that, in any possible circumstance, were every agent to act impermissibly, each would have more reason to prefer the world thereby actualized over the (...)
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  • Contractualism.Jussi Suikkanen - 2020 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    This essay begins by describing T.M. Scanlon’s contractualism according to which an action is right when it is authorised by the moral principles no one could reasonably reject. This view has argued to have implausible consequences with regards to how different-sized groups, non-human animals, and cognitively limited human beings should be treated. It has also been accused of being theoretically redundant and unable to vindicate the so-called deontic distinctions. I then distinguish between the general contractualist framework and Scanlon’s version of (...)
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  • Rationality, Success, and Luck.Ram Neta - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-15.
    Rationality, whatever exactly it demands of us, promotes success, whatever exactly that is. Some philosophers interpret that slogan as something that can provide them with a way of reductively explaining the demands of rationality by appeal to some independently intelligible notion of success: being rational, they might say, is just having whatever property it is that promotes success. Other philosophers may interpret the same slogan as something that can provide them with a way of reductively explaining the notion of success (...)
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  • Reconsidering Meaning in Life: A Philosophical Dialogue with Thaddeus Metz.Masahiro Morioka (ed.) - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Life, Waseda University.
    An e-book devoted to 13 critical discussions of Thaddeus Metz's book "Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study", with a lengthy reply from the author. -/- Preface Masahiro Morioka i -/- Précis of Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study Thaddeus Metz ii-vi -/- Source and Bearer: Metz on the Pure Part-Life View of Meaning Hasko von Kriegstein 1-18 -/- Fundamentality and Extradimensional Final Value David Matheson 19-32 -/- Meaningful and More Meaningful: A Modest Measure Peter Baumann 33-49 -/- Is Meaning in (...)
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  • Harm Reduction: A Misnomer.Nicholas B. King - 2020 - Health Care Analysis 28 (4):324-334.
    ‘Harm reduction’ programs are usually justified on the utilitarian grounds that they aim to reduce the net harms of a behavior. In this paper, I contend that the historical genesis of harm reduction programs, and the crucial moral imperative that distinguishes these programs from other interventions and policies, are not utilitarian; the practical implementation of harm reduction programs is not, and probably cannot be, utilitarian; and the continued justification of harm reduction on utilitarian grounds is untenable and may itself cause (...)
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  • Repugnant Accuracy.Brian Talbot - 2019 - Noûs 53 (3):540-563.
    Accuracy‐first epistemology is an approach to formal epistemology which takes accuracy to be a measure of epistemic utility and attempts to vindicate norms of epistemic rationality by showing how conformity with them is beneficial. If accuracy‐first epistemology can actually vindicate any epistemic norms, it must adopt a plausible account of epistemic value. Any such account must avoid the epistemic version of Derek Parfit's “repugnant conclusion.” I argue that the only plausible way of doing so is to say that accurate credences (...)
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  • Exiting The Consequentialist Circle: Two Senses of Bringing It About.Paul Edward Hurley - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (2):130-163.
    Consequentialism is a state of affairs centered moral theory that finds support in state of affairs centered views of value, reason, action, and desire/preference. Together these views form a mutually reinforcing circle. I map an exit route out of this circle by distinguishing between two different senses in which actions can be understood as bringing about states of affairs. All actions, reasons, desires, and values involve bringing about in the first, deflationary sense, but only some appear to involve bringing about (...)
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  • The Cost of Consequentialization.Hanno Sauer - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (1-2):100-109.
    Consequentializers suggest that for all non‐consequentialist moral theories, one can come up with a consequentialist counterpart that generates exactly the same deontic output as the original theory. Thus, all moral theories can be “consequentialized.” This paper argues that this procedure, though technically feasible, deprives consequentialism of its potential for normative justification. By allowing purported counterexamples to any given consequentialist moral theory to be accommodated within that theory’s account of value, consequentializers achieve a hollow victory. The resulting deontically equivalent consequentalist counterpart (...)
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  • Duty and Knowledge.Yoaav Isaacs - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):95-110.
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  • A Fault Line in Ethical Theory.Shyam Nair - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):173-200.
    A traditional picture is that cases of deontic constraints--- cases where an act is wrong (or one that there is most reason to not do) even though performing that act will prevent more acts of the same morally (or practically) relevant type from being performed---form a kind of fault line in ethical theory separating (agent-neutral) consequentialist theories from other ethical theories. But certain results in the recent literature, such as those due to Graham Oddie and Peter Milne in "Act and (...)
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  • The Value Alignment Problem: A Geometric Approach.Martin Peterson - 2019 - Ethics and Information Technology 21 (1):19-28.
    Stuart Russell defines the value alignment problem as follows: How can we build autonomous systems with values that “are aligned with those of the human race”? In this article I outline some distinctions that are useful for understanding the value alignment problem and then propose a solution: I argue that the methods currently applied by computer scientists for embedding moral values in autonomous systems can be improved by representing moral principles as conceptual spaces, i.e. as Voronoi tessellations of morally similar (...)
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  • Is the Expiration of Intellectual Property Rights a Problem for Non-Consequentialist Theories of Intellectual Property?Jukka Varelius - 2014 - Res Publica 20 (4):345-357.
    The expiration of intellectual property rights has been seen to amount to a problem for non-consequentialist theories of intellectual property. In this article, I assess whether the difficulty is real. I maintain that, as things are at least, there is no sufficient reason to believe that the termination of intellectual property rights is an insurmountable problem for non-consequentialist theories of intellectual property rights.
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  • Two Models of Agent-Centered Value.Jamie Dreier - 2020 - Res Philosophica 97 (3):345-362.
    The consequentializing project relies on agentcentered value, but many philosophers find the idea incomprehensible or incoherent. Discussions of agent-centered value often model it with a theory that assigns distinct better-than rankings of states of affairs to each agent, rather than assigning a single ranking common to all. A less popular kind of model uses a single ranking, but takes the value-bearing objects to be properties rather than states of affairs. There are rhetorical, presentational differences between these kinds of models, but (...)
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  • Introduction: Consequentialism and Environmental Ethics.Avram Hiller & Leonard Kahn - 2013 - In Avram Hiller, Leonard Kahn & Ramona Ilea (eds.), Consequentialism and Environmental Ethics. pp. 1-24.
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  • What Matters and How It Matters: A Choice-Theoretic Representation of Moral Theories.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (4):421-479.
    We present a new “reason-based” approach to the formal representation of moral theories, drawing on recent decision-theoretic work. We show that any moral theory within a very large class can be represented in terms of two parameters: a specification of which properties of the objects of moral choice matter in any given context, and a specification of how these properties matter. Reason-based representations provide a very general taxonomy of moral theories, as differences among theories can be attributed to differences in (...)
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  • Effectiveness and Ecumenicity.Chong-Ming Lim - 2019 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (5):590-612.
    Effective altruism is purportedly ecumenical towards different moral views, charitable causes, and evidentiary methods. I argue that effective altruists’ criticisms of purportedly less effective charities are inconsistent with their commitment to ecumenicity. Individuals may justifiably support charities other than those recommended by effective altruism. If effective altruists take their commitment to ecumenicity seriously, they will have to revise their criticisms of many of these charities.
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  • Is Reliabilism a Form of Consequentialism?Jeffrey Dunn & Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij - unknown
    Reliabilism -- the view that a belief is justified iff it is produced by a reliable process -- is often characterized as a form of consequentialism. Recently, critics of reliabilism have suggested that, since a form of consequentialism, reliabilism condones a variety of problematic trade-offs, involving cases where someone forms an epistemically deficient belief now that will lead her to more epistemic value later. In the present paper, we argue that the relevant argument against reliabilism fails because it equivocates. While (...)
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  • Why Impossible Options Are Better: Consequentializing Dilemmas.Brian Talbot - 2021 - Utilitas 33 (2):221-236.
    To consequentialize a deontological moral theory is to give a theory which issues the same moral verdicts, but explains those verdicts in terms of maximizing or satisficing value. There are many motivations for consequentializing: to reconcile plausible ideas behind deontology with plausible ideas behind consequentialism, to help us better understand deontological theories, or to extend deontological theories beyond what intuitions alone tell us. It has proven difficult to consequentialize theories that allow for moral dilemmas or that deny that “ought” implies (...)
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  • Relativized Rankings.Matthew Hammerton - 2020 - In Douglas W. Portmore (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 46-66.
    In traditional consequentialism the good is position-neutral. A single evaluative ranking of states of affairs is correct for everyone, everywhere regardless of their positions. Recently, position-relative forms of consequentialism have been developed. These allow for the correct rankings of states to depend on connections that hold between the state being evaluated and the position of the evaluator. For example, perhaps being an agent who acts in a certain state requires me to rank that state differently from someone else who lacks (...)
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  • Consequentializing Moral Dilemmas.Jussi Suikkanen - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (3):261-289.
    The aim of the consequentializing project is to show that, for every plausible ethical theory, there is a version of consequentialism that is extensionally equivalent to it. One challenge this project faces is that there are common-sense ethical theories that posit moral dilemmas. There has been some speculation about how the consequentializers should react to these theories, but so far there has not been a systematic treatment of the topic. In this article, I show that there are at least five (...)
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  • Decision Theory.Katie Steele & H. Orri Stefánsson - 2015 - In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Consequentialism.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Why Deontologists Should Reject Agent-Relative Value and Embrace Agent-Relative Accountability.Rudolf Schuessler - 2020 - Zeitschrift Für Ethik Und Moralphilosophie 3 (2):315-335.
    This paper claims that deontological and consequentialist ethics are best distinguished with reference to different assumptions concerning moral accountability and accounting. Deontological ethics can thereby be defended against the accusation of inordinate concern with the moral purity of agents. Moreover, deontological ethics can and should reject being based on the concept of agent-relative value. Even under the assumption that deontological ethics can be consequentialized, agent-relative value need not play a fundamental role. This is not the same as denying agent-relativity a (...)
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  • A Fault Line in Ethical Theory.Gopal Shyam Nair - unknown
    A venerable idea in the history of moral philosophy is that central among the normative notions is the notion of goodness or value. This idea, which can be found at least as early as 1903 in G.E. Moore’s Principia Ethica, claims that goodness is central in that all other normative notions can be explained in terms of it. Moore’s approach and the dominant approach to the project of explaining the normative notions of rightness and what we have reason to do (...)
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  • Objectivism and Prospectivism About Rightness.Elinor Mason - 2013 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 7 (2):1-22.
    In this paper I present a new argument for prospectivism: the view that, for a consequentialist, rightness depends on what is prospectively best rather than what would actually be best. Prospective bestness depends on the agent’s epistemic position, though exactly how that works is not straightforward. I clarify various possible versions of prospectivism, which differ in how far they go in relativizing to the agent’s limitations. My argument for prospectivism is an argument for moderately objective prospectivism, according to which the (...)
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  • Fundamental Utilitarianism and Intergenerational Equity with Extinction Discounting.Graciela Chichilnisky, Peter J. Hammond & Nicholas Stern - forthcoming - Social Choice and Welfare.
    Ramsey famously condemned discounting “future enjoyments” as “ethically indefensible”. Suppes enunciated an equity criterion which, when social choice is utilitarian, implies giving equal weight to all individuals’ utilities. By contrast, Arrow accepted, perhaps reluctantly, what he called Koopmans’ :287–309, 1960) “strong argument” implying that no equitable preference ordering exists for a sufficiently unrestricted domain of infinite utility streams. Here we derive an equitable utilitarian objective for a finite population based on a version of the Vickrey–Harsanyi original position, where there is (...)
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  • Ethical Vagueness and Practical Reasoning.Billy Dunaway - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (266):38-60.
    This paper looks at the phenomenon of ethical vagueness by asking the question, how ought one to reason about what to do when confronted with a case of ethical vagueness? I begin by arguing that we must confront this question, since ethical vagueness is inescapable. I then outline one attractive answer to the question: we ought to maximize expected moral value when confronted with ethical vagueness. This idea yields determinate results for what one rationally ought to do in cases of (...)
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  • A Plea for Falsehoods.Juan Comesaña - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):247-276.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Accuracy and Evidence.Richard Pettigrew - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (4):579-596.
    In “A Nonpragmatic Vindication of Probabilism”, Jim Joyce argues that our credences should obey the axioms of the probability calculus by showing that, if they don't, there will be alternative credences that are guaranteed to be more accurate than ours. But it seems that accuracy is not the only goal of credences: there is also the goal of matching one's credences to one's evidence. I will consider four ways in which we might make this latter goal precise: on the first, (...)
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  • Trustworthiness and Motivations.Natalie Gold - 2014 - In N. Morris D. Vines (ed.), Capital Failure: Rebuilding trust in financial services. Oxford University Press.
    Trust can be thought of as a three place relation: A trusts B to do X. Trustworthiness has two components: competence (does the trustee have the relevant skills, knowledge and abilities to do X?) and willingness (is the trustee intending or aiming to do X?). This chapter is about the willingness component, and the different motivations that a trustee may have for fulfilling trust. The standard assumption in economics is that agents are self-regarding, maximizing their own consumption of goods and (...)
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  • What Kind of Perspectivism?Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (4):415-443.
    According to perspectivism about moral obligation, our obligations are affected by our epistemic circumstances. But how exactly should this claim be understood? On Zimmerman’s “Prospective View”, perspectivism is spelled out as the thesis that an option is obligatory if and only if it maximizes what Zimmerman calls “prospective value”, which is in turn determined by the agent’s present evidence. In this article, I raise two objections to this approach. Firstly, I argue that spelling out the difference between perspectivism and anti-perspectivism (...)
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  • Pure Time Preference in Intertemporal Welfare Economics.J. Paul Kelleher - 2017 - Economics and Philosophy 33 (3):441-473.
    Several areas of welfare economics seek to evaluate states of affairs as a function of interpersonally comparable individual utilities. The aim is to map each state of affairs onto a vector of individual utilities, and then to produce an ordering of these vectors that can be represented by a mathematical function assigning a real number to each. When this approach is used in intertemporal contexts, a central theoretical question concerns the evaluative weight to be applied to utility coming at different (...)
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  • Should We Discount the Welfare of Future Generations? : Ramsey and Suppes Versus Koopmans and Arrow.Graciela Chichilnisky, Peter J. Hammond & Nicholas Stern - unknown
    Ramsey famously pronounced that discounting “future enjoyments” would be ethically indefensible. Suppes enunciated an equity criterion implying that all individuals’ welfare should be treated equally. By contrast, Arrow accepted, perhaps rather reluctantly, the logical force of Koopmans’ argument that no satisfactory preference ordering on a sufficiently unrestricted domain of infinite utility streams satisfies equal treatment. In this paper, we first derive an equitable utilitarian objective based on a version of the Vickrey–Harsanyi original position, extended to allow a variable and uncertain (...)
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  • On the Classification of Śāntideva’s Ethics in the Bodhicaryāvatāra.Stephen E. Harris - 2015 - Philosophy East and West 65 (1):249-275.
    In this essay several challenges are raised to the project of classifying Śāntideva’s ethical reasoning given in his Bodhicaryāvatāra, or Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva, as a species of ethical theory such as consequentialism or virtue ethics. One set of difficulties highlighted here arises because Śāntideva wrote this text to act as a manual of psychological transformation, and it is therefore often difficult to determine when his statements indicate his own ethical views. Further, even assuming we can identify (...)
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  • 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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  • Consequentializing and Underdetermination.Marius Baumann - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (3):511-527.
    abstractThe paper explores a new interpretation of the consequentializing project. Three prominent interpretations are criticized for neglecting the explanatory dimension of moral theories. Instead...
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  • Two Grades of Non-Consequentialism.Ralph Wedgwood - 2016 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (4):795-814.
    In this paper, I explore how to accommodate non-consequentialist constraints with a broadly value-based conception of reasons for action. It turns out that there are two grades of non-consequentialist constraints. The first grade involves attaching ethical importance to such distinctions as the doing/allowing distinction, and the distinction between intended and unintended consequences that is central to the Doctrine of Double Effect. However, at least within the value-based framework, this first grade is insufficient to explain rights, which ground weighty reasons against (...)
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  • Acting on Probabilistic Knowledge.Daniel Greco - 2020 - Res Philosophica 97 (1):109-117.
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  • Wage Exploitation and the Nonworseness Claim: Allowing the Wrong, To Do More Good.David Faraci - 2019 - Business Ethics Quarterly 29 (2):169-188.
    Many believe that employment can be wrongfully exploitative, even if it is consensual and mutually beneficial. At the same time, it may seem third parties should not do anything to preclude or eliminate such arrangements, given these same considerations of consent and benefit. I argue that there are perfectly sensible, intuitive ethical positions that vindicate this ‘Reasonable View’. The view requires such defense because the literature often suggests that there is no theoretical space for it. I respond to arguments for (...)
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  • 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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