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Global Consequentialism

In Brad Hooker, Elinor Mason & Dale Miller (eds.), Morality, Rules and Consequences: A Critical Reader. Edinburgh University Press (2000)

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  1. The Ambitions of Consequentialism.Brian McElwee - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17 (2).
    Consequentialism is most famously a theory of right action. But many consequentialists assume, and some have explicitly argued, that consequentialism is equally plausible as a direct theory of the right rules, motives, character traits, institutions, and even such things as climates and eye colours. In this paper, I call into question this ‘Global Consequentialist’ extension of consequentialist evaluation beyond the domain of action. Consequentialist treatments of evaluands other than action are most plausible when they are interpreted as claims about reasons (...)
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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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  • Moral Error Theory Without Epistemic Error Theory: Scepticism About Second-Personal Reasons.Richard Rowland - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (280):547-569.
    Proponents of the epistemic companions in guilt argument argue that we should reject the moral error theory because it entails that there are no epistemic reasons. In this paper, I investigate whether a plausible version of the moral error theory can be constructed that does not entail an error theory about epistemic reasons. I argue that there are no irreducibly normative second-personal reasons even if there are irreducibly normative reasons. And epistemic reasons are not second-personal reasons. In this case, a (...)
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  • 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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  • Does ‘Ought’ Imply ‘Might’? How (Not) to Resolve the Conflict Between Act and Motive Utilitarianism.James Skidmore - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (1):207-221.
    Utilitarianism has often been understood as a theory that concerns itself first and foremost with the rightness of actions; but many other things are also properly subject to moral evaluation, and utilitarians have long understood that the theory must be able to provide an account of these as well. In a landmark article from 1976, Robert Adams argues that traditional act utilitarianism faces a particular problem in this regard. He argues that a on a sensible utilitarian account of the rightness (...)
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  • Fittingness: The Sole Normative Primitive.Richard Yetter Chappell - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (249):684 - 704.
    This paper draws on the 'Fitting Attitudes' analysis of value to argue that we should take the concept of fittingness (rather than value) as our normative primitive. I will argue that the fittingness framework enhances the clarity and expressive power of our normative theorising. Along the way, we will see how the fittingness framework illuminates our understanding of various moral theories, and why it casts doubt on the Global Consequentialist idea that acts and (say) eye colours are normatively on a (...)
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  • 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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  • Rule-Consequentialism's Assumptions.Kevin P. Tobia - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (4):458-471.
    Rule-Consequentialism faces “the problem of partial acceptance”: How should the ideal code be selected given the possibility that its rules may not be universally accepted? A new contender, “Calculated Rates” Rule-Consequentialism claims to solve this problem. However, I argue that Calculated Rates merely relocates the partial acceptance question. Nevertheless, there is a significant lesson from this failure of Calculated Rates. Rule-Consequentialism’s problem of partial acceptance is more helpfully understood as an instance of the broader problem of selecting the ideal code (...)
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  • Consequentialism and Coordination Problems.Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    Imagine both that (1) S1 is deliberating at t about whether or not to x at t' and that (2) although S1’s x-ing at t' would not itself have good consequences, good consequences would ensue if both S1 x's at t' and S2 y's at t", where S1 may or may not be identical to S2 and where t < t' ≤ t". In this paper, I consider how consequentialists should treat S2 and the possibility that S2 will y at (...)
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  • Can Consequentialism Cover Everything?Bart Streumer - 2003 - Utilitas 15 (2):237-47.
    Derek Parfit, Philip Pettit and Michael Smith defend a version of consequentialism that covers everything. I argue that this version of consequentialism is false. Consequentialism, I argue, can only cover things that belong to a combination of things that agents can bring about.
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  • Consequentialism and Decision Procedures.Toby Ord - 2005 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    Consequentialism is often charged with being self-defeating, for if a person attempts to apply it, she may quite predictably produce worse outcomes than if she applied some other moral theory. Many consequentialists have replied that this criticism rests on a false assumption, confusing consequentialism’s criterion of the rightness of an act with its position on decision procedures. Consequentialism, on this view, does not dictate that we should be always calculating which of the available acts leads to the most good, but (...)
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  • How to Be a Consequentialist About Everything.Toby Ord - manuscript
    Over the last few decades, there has been an increasing interest in global consequentialism. Where act-consequentialism assesses acts in terms of their consequences, global consequentialism goes much further, assessing acts, rules, motives — and everything else — in terms of the relevant consequences. Compared to act-consequentialism it offers a number of advantages: it is more expressive, it is a simpler theory, and it captures some of the benefits of ruleconsequentialism without the corresponding drawbacks. In this paper, I explore the four (...)
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  • What If I Cannot Make a Difference (and Know It).Felix Pinkert - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):971-998.
    When several agents together produce suboptimal outcomes, yet no individual could have made a difference for the better, Act Consequentialism counterintuitively judges that all involved agents act rightly. I address this problem by supplementing Act Consequentialism with a requirement of modal robustness: Agents not only ought to produce best consequences in the actual world, but they also ought to be such that they would act optimally in certain counterfactual scenarios. I interpret this Modally Robust Act Consequentialism as Act Consequentialism plus (...)
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  • Non-Consequentialism and Universalizability.Philip Pettit - 2000 - Philosophical Quarterly 50 (199):175-190.
    If non-consequentialists are to embrace the requirement of universalizability, then they will have to adopt a surprisingly relativistic stance. Not only will they say, in familiar vein, that the premises adduced in moral argument may be only agent-relative in force, that is, may involve the use of an indexical – as in the consideration that this or that option would advance my commitments, discharge my duty, or benefit my children – and may provide reasons only for the indexically relevant agent, (...)
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  • Consequentialism.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Objective Consequentialism and the Licensing Dilemma.Vuko Andrić - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):547-566.
    Frank Jackson has put forward a famous thought experiment of a physician who has to decide on the correct treatment for her patient. Subjective consequentialism tells the physician to do what intuitively seems to be the right action, whereas objective consequentialism fails to guide the physician’s action. I suppose that objective consequentialists want to supplement their theory so that it guides the physician’s action towards what intuitively seems to be the right treatment. Since this treatment is wrong according to objective (...)
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  • Right Motive, Wrong Action: Direct Consequentialism and Evaluative Conflict.Jennie Louise - 2006 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (1):65-85.
    In this paper I look at attempts to develop forms of consequentialism which do not have a feature considered problematic in Direct Consequentialist theories (that is, those consequentialist theories that apply the criterion of rightness directly in the evaluation of any set of options). The problematic feature in question (which I refer to as ‘evaluative conflict’) is the possibility that, for example, a right motive might lead an agent to perform a wrong act. Theories aiming to avoid this phenomenon must (...)
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  • Immodest Consequentialism and Character.Michael Smith - 2001 - Utilitas 13 (2):173.
    The fact that we place the value that we do on the traits of character constitutive of being a good friend, and the acts that good friends are disposed to perform, creates a considerable problem for what I call. The problem is, in essence, that the very best that the immodest global consequentialists can do by way of vindicating our most deeply held convictions about the value of these traits of character and actions isn't good enough, because, while vindicating our (...)
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  • Being Good by Doing Good: Goodness and the Evaluation of Persons.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (1):3-26.
    Does doing good in itself make one a better person? This idea is intuitive yet its precise formulation underexplored. This article first shows that it is not the case that a person is good to the extent that her existence brings about good or to the extent that her actions do good. A proportional principle that evaluates a person according to the expected goodness of her actual course of action relative to the expected goodness of other available courses is shown (...)
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  • Consequentialism, War, and National Defense.W. H. Shaw - 2014 - Journal of International Political Theory 10 (1):20-37.
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