Resisting the Seductive Appeal of Consequentialism: Goals, Options, and Non-quantitative Mattering: Robert Noggle

Utilitas 15 (3):279-307 (2003)
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Impartially Optimizing Consequentialism requires agents to act so as to bring about the best outcome, as judged by a preference ordering which is impartial among the needs and interests of all persons. IOC may seem to be only rational response to the recognition that one is only one person among many others with equal intrinsic moral status. A person who adopts a less impartial deontological alternative to IOC may seem to fail to take seriously the fact that other persons matter in the same way that she takes herself to matter. This paper examines this ‘seductive appeal’ of IOC. It argues that IOC is not the only rational way to recognize the fact that each person matters. It presents an alternative conception of how to recognize the status of other persons as beingswho-matter, an alternative that has Kantian rather than consequentialist implications.

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Robert Noggle
Central Michigan University


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