Moral Demands and Ethical Theory: The Case of Consequentialism

In Barry Dainton & Howard Robinson (eds.), Bloomsbury Companion to Analytic Philosophy. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 500-527 (2015)
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Morality is demanding; this is a platitude. It is thus no surprise when we find that moral theories too, when we look into what they require, turn out to be demanding. However, there is at least one moral theory – consequentialism – that is said to be beset by this demandingness problem. This calls for an explanation: Why only consequentialism? This then leads to related questions: What is the demandingness problematic about? What exactly does it claim? Finally, there is the question of what we do if we accept that there is a demandingness problem for consequentialism: How can consequentialists respond? The present chapter sets out to answer these questions (or at least point to how they could be answered).
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