Results for 'act consequentialism'

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  1. Act Consequentialism without Free Rides.Preston Greene & Benjamin A. Levinstein - 2020 - Philosophical Perspectives 34 (1):88-116.
    Consequentialist theories determine rightness solely based on real or expected consequences. Although such theories are popular, they often have difficulty with generalizing intuitions, which demand concern for questions like “What if everybody did that?” Rule consequentialism attempts to incorporate these intuitions by shifting the locus of evaluation from the consequences of acts to those of rules. However, detailed rule-consequentialist theories seem ad hoc or arbitrary compared to act consequentialist ones. We claim that generalizing can be better incorporated into (...) by keeping the locus of evaluation on acts but adjusting the decision theory behind act selection. Specifically, we should adjust which types of dependencies the theory takes to be decision-relevant. Using this strategy, we formulate a new theory, generalized act consequentialism, which we argue is more compelling than rule consequentialism both in modeling the actual reasoning of generalizers and in delivering correct verdicts. (shrink)
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  2. Against maximizing act-consequentialism (june 30, 2008).Peter Vallentyne - 2006 - In James Dreier (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Moral Theories. Blackwell. pp. 6--21.
    Maximizing act consequentialism holds that actions are morally permissible if and only if they maximize the value of consequences—if and only if, that is, no alternative action in the given choice situation has more valuable consequences.[i] It is subject to two main objections. One is that it fails to recognize that morality imposes certain constraints on how we may promote value. Maximizing act consequentialism fails to recognize, I shall argue, that the ends do not always justify the means. (...)
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  3. Act Consequentialism and Inefficacy.Eliot Michaelson - 2016 - In Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson & Tyler Doggett (eds.), Food, Ethics, and Society: An Introductory Text with Readings. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 210-214.
    A variety of eating and purchasing practices, in particular vegetarianism, are often motivated via an appeal to their expected good consequences. Lurking in the background, however, is the question: can I really hope to make a difference via my purchases in a social world as complex and wasteful as our own? I review the evidence as it stands and conclude that there are good reasons to suspect that one probably does not make a difference directly via one's purchases. That said, (...)
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  4. Procreation, Carbon Tax, and Poverty: An Act-Consequentialist Climate-Change Agenda.Ben Eggleston - 2020 - In Dale E. Miller & Ben Eggleston (eds.), Moral Theory and Climate Change: Ethical Perspectives on a Warming Planet. London, UK: pp. 58–77.
    A book chapter (about 9,000 words, plus references) presenting an act-consequentialist approach to the ethics of climate change. It begins with an overview of act consequentialism, including a description of the view’s principle of rightness (an act is right if and only if it maximizes the good) and a conception of the good focusing on the well-being of sentient creatures and rejecting temporal discounting. Objections to act consequentialism, and replies, are also considered. Next, the chapter briefly suggests that (...)
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  5. Is global consequentialism more expressive than act consequentialism?Elliott Thornley - 2022 - Analysis 82 (1):75-84.
    Act consequentialism states that an act is right if and only if the expected value of its outcome is at least as great as the expected value of any other act’s outcome. Two objections to this view are as follows. The first is that act consequentialism cannot account for our normative ambivalence in cases where agents perform the right act out of bad motives. The second is that act consequentialism is silent on questions of character: questions like (...)
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  6. The Burdens of Morality: Why Act‐Consequentialism Demands Too Little.Tom Dougherty - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):82-85.
    A classic objection to act-consequentialism is that it is overdemanding: it requires agents to bear too many costs for the sake of promoting the impersonal good. I develop the complementary objection that act-consequentialism is underdemanding: it fails to acknowledge that agents have moral reasons to bear certain costs themselves, even when it would be impersonally better for others to bear these costs.
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  7. The Argument from Self-Creation: A Refutation of Act-Consequentialism and a Defense of Moral Options.Alex Rajczi - 2011 - American Philosophical Quarterly 48 (4):315.
    The standard form of act-consequentialism requires us to perform the action with the best consequences; it allows choice between moral options only on those rare occasions when several actions produce equally good results. This paper argues for moral options and thus against act-consequentialism. The argument turns on the insight that some valuable things cannot exist unless our moral system allows options. One such thing is the opportunity for individuals to enact plans for their life from among alternatives. Because (...)
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  8. Act and Rule Consequentialism: A Synthesis.Jussi Suikkanen - forthcoming - Moral Philosophy and Politics.
    As an indirect ethical theory, rule consequentialism first evaluates moral codes in terms of how good the consequences of their general adoption are and then individual actions in terms of whether or not the optimific code authorises them. There are three well-known and powerful objections to rule consequentialism’s indirect structure: the ideal world objection, the rule worship objection, and the incoherence objection. These objections are all based on cases in which following the optimific code has suboptimal consequences in (...)
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  9. When a Free Act Costs a Motive: Clearing Consequentialism of Conflict.Austen McDougal - 2023 - Utilitas 35 (1):25-39.
    Consequentialist theories that directly assess multiple focal points face an important objection: that one right option may conflict with another. Robert Adams raises an instance of this objection regarding the possibility that the right act conflicts with the right motives. Whereas only partial responses have previously been given, assuming particular views of the relation between motives and acts, an exhaustive treatment is in order. Either motives psychologically determine acts, or they do not – and I defend direct consequentialism on (...)
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  10. Consequentialism and Respect: Two Strategies for Justifying Act Utilitarianism.Ben Eggleston - 2020 - Utilitas 32 (1):1-18.
    Most arguments in support of act utilitarianism are elaborations of one of two basic strategies. One is the consequentialist strategy. This strategy relies on the consequentialist premise that an act is right if and only if it produces the best possible consequences and the welfarist premise that the value of a state of affairs is entirely determined by its overall amount of well-being. The other strategy is based on the idea of treating individuals respectfully and resolving conflicts among individuals in (...)
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  11. Consequentialism and Reasons for Action.Christopher Woodard - 2020 - In Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism. Oxford: OUP. pp. 179–196.
    Consequentialist theories often neglect reasons for action. They offer theories of the rightness or the goodness of actions, or of virtue, but they typically do not include theories of reasons. However, consequentialists can give plausible accounts of reasons. This chapter examines some different ways in which such accounts might be developed, focusing on Act Consequentialism and Rule Consequentialism and on the relationship between reasons and rightness. It notes that adding claims about reasons to consequentialist theories may introduce a (...)
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  12. Consequentialism and Promises.Alida Liberman - 2020 - In Douglas Portmore (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism. pp. 289 - 309.
    I explore the debate about whether consequentialist theories can adequately accommodate the moral force of promissory obligation. I outline a straightforward act consequentialist account grounded in the value of satisfying expectations, and raise and assess three objections to this account: that it counterintuitively predicts that certain promises should be broken when commonsense morality insists that they should be kept, that the account is circular, and Michael Cholbi’s argument that this account problematically implies that promise-making is frequently obligatory. I then discuss (...)
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  13. Reasons for Rule Consequentialists.Christopher Woodard - 2022 - Ratio (4):1-10.
    This paper explores what a Rule Consequentialist of Brad Hooker's sort can and should say about normative rea- sons for action. I claim that they can provide a theory of reasons, but that doing so requires distinguishing dif- ferent roles of rules in the ideal code. Some rules in the ideal code specify reasons, while others perform differ- ent functions. The paper also discusses a choice that Rule Consequentialists face about how exactly to specify rea- sons. It ends by comparing (...)
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  14. Maxim Consequentialism for Bounded Agents.Mayank Agrawal & David Danks - manuscript
    Normative moral theories are frequently invoked to serve one of two distinct purposes: (1) explicate a criterion of rightness, or (2) provide an ethical decision-making procedure. Although a criterion of rightness provides a valuable theoretical ideal, proposed criteria rarely can be (nor are they intended to be) directly translated into a feasible decision-making procedure. This paper applies the computational framework of bounded rationality to moral decision-making to ask: how ought a bounded human agent make ethical decisions? We suggest agents ought (...)
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  15. Consequentialism and Its Demands: A Representative Study.Attila Tanyi & Martin Bruder - 2014 - Journal of Value Inquiry 48 (2):293-314.
    An influential objection to act-consequentialism holds that the theory is unduly demanding. This paper is an attempt to approach this critique of act-consequentialism – the Overdemandingness Objection – from a different, so far undiscussed, angle. First, the paper argues that the most convincing form of the Objection claims that consequentialism is overdemanding because it requires us, with decisive force, to do things that, intuitively, we do not have decisive reason to perform. Second, in order to investigate the (...)
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  16. Consequentialism, Collective Action, and Causal Impotence.Tim Aylsworth & Adam Pham - 2020 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 23 (3):336-349.
    This paper offers some refinements to a particular objection to act consequentialism, the “causal impotence” objection. According to proponents of the objection, when we find circumstances in which severe, unnecessary harms result entirely from voluntary acts, it seems as if we should be able to indict at least one act among those acts, but act consequentialism appears to lack the resources to offer this indictment. Our aim is to show is that the most promising response on behalf of (...)
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  17. 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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  18. Consequentialism with Wrongness Depending on the Difficulty of Doing Better.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):108-118.
    Moral wrongness comes in degrees. On a consequentialist view of ethics, the wrongness of an act should depend, I argue, in part on how much worse the act's consequences are compared with those of its alternatives and in part on how difficult it is to perform the alternatives with better consequences. I extend act consequentialism to take this into account, and I defend three conditions on consequentialist theories. The first is consequentialist dominance, which says that, if an act has (...)
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  19. 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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  20. Epistemic Consequentialism: Its Relation to Ethical Consequentialism and the Truth-Indication Principle.Jochen Briesen - 2016 - In Pedro Schmechtig & Martin Grajner (eds.), Epistemic Reasons, Norms, and Goals. De Gruyter. pp. 277-306.
    Consequentialist positions in philosophy spell out normative notions by recourse to final aims. Hedonistic versions of ETHICAL consequentialism spell out what is MORALLY right/justified via recourse to the aim of increasing pleasure and decreasing pain. Veritistic versions of EPISTEMIC consequentialism spell out what is EPISTEMICALLY right/justified via recourse to the aim of increasing the number of true beliefs and decreasing the number of false ones. Even though these theories are in many respects structurally analogous, there are also interesting (...)
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  21. Overdemanding Consequentialism? An Experimental Approach.Martin Bruder & Attila Tanyi - 2014 - Utilitas 26 (3):250-275.
    According to act-consequentialism the right action is the one that produces the best results as judged from an impersonal perspective. Some claim that this requirement is unreasonably demanding and therefore consequentialism is unacceptable as a moral theory. The article breaks with dominant trends in discussing this so-called Overdemandingness Objection. Instead of focusing on theoretical responses, it empirically investigates whether there exists a widely shared intuition that consequentialist demands are unreasonable. This discussion takes the form of examining what people (...)
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  22. Consequentialist Options.Jussi Suikkanen - 2014 - Utilitas 26 (3):276-302.
    According to traditional forms of act-consequentialism, an action is right if and only if no other action in the given circumstances would have better consequences. It has been argued that this view does not leave us enough freedom to choose between actions which we intuitively think are morally permissible but not required options. In the first half of this article, I will explain why the previous consequentialist responses to this objection are less than satisfactory. I will then attempt to (...)
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  23. Consequentialism and Climate Change.Mattia Cecchinato - 2023 - In Pellegrino Gianfranco & Marcello Di Paola (eds.), Handbook of Philosophy of Climate Change. Springer Nature. pp. 541-560.
    The environmental crisis challenges the adequacy of traditional moral theories, particularly in the case of act consequentialism – the view that an act is morally right if and only if it brings about the best available outcome. Although anthropogenic climate change threatens the well-being of billions of humans and trillions of non-human animals, it is difficult for an act consequentialist to condemn actions that contribute to it, as each individual action makes no difference to the probability of whether climate (...)
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  24. Is act-consquentialism self-effacing?Nikhil Venkatesh - 2021 - Analysis 81 (4):718-726.
    Act-consequentialism (C) is self-effacing for an agent iff that agent’s not accepting C would produce the best outcome. The question of whether C is self-effacing is important for evaluating C. Some hold that if C is self-effacing that would be a mark against it (Williams 1973: 134); however, the claim that C is self-effacing is also used to defend C against certain objections (Parfit 1984: Ch. 1, Railton 1984). -/- In this paper I will show that one argument suggested (...)
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  25. Non-Consequentialism Demystified.John Ku, Howard Nye & David Plunkett - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15 (4):1-28.
    Morality seems important, in the sense that there are practical reasons — at least for most of us, most of the time — to be moral. A central theoretical motivation for consequentialism is that it appears clear that there are practical reasons to promote good outcomes, but mysterious why we should care about non-consequentialist moral considerations or how they could be genuine reasons to act. In this paper we argue that this theoretical motivation is mistaken, and that because many (...)
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  26. 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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  27. Consequentialism and the Standard Story of Action.Paul Hurley - 2018 - The Journal of Ethics 22 (1):25-44.
    I challenge the common picture of the “Standard Story” of Action as a neutral account of action within which debates in normative ethics can take place. I unpack three commitments that are implicit in the Standard Story, and demonstrate that these commitments together entail a teleological conception of reasons, upon which all reasons to act are reasons to bring about states of affairs. Such a conception of reasons, in turn, supports a consequentialist framework for the evaluation of action, upon which (...)
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  28. Hedonistic Act Utilitarianism: Action Guidance and Moral intuitions.Simon Rosenqvist - 2020 - Dissertation, Uppsala University
    According to hedonistic act utilitarianism, an act is morally right if and only if, and because, it produces at least as much pleasure minus pain as any alternative act available to the agent. This dissertation gives a partial defense of utilitarianism against two types of objections: action guidance objections and intuitive objections. In Chapter 1, the main themes of the dissertation are introduced. The chapter also examines questions of how to understand utilitarianism, including (a) how to best formulate the moral (...)
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  29. Is consequentialist perdurantism in moral trouble?Michael Tze-Sung Longenecker - 2020 - Synthese 198 (11):10979-10990.
    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 (...)
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  30. Consequentialism and the New Doing-Allowing Distinction.Paul Hurley - 2019 - In Christian Seidel (ed.), Consequentialism: new directions, new problems? Oxford, UK: pp. 176-197.
    Evaluator-relative consequentialists frequently endorse the traditional doing-allowing distinction. Yet their endorsement of this traditional distinction only serves to clear the way for their argument against a more fundamental doing-allowing distinction, an argument that one never ought to do something when this will allow something worse to happen. Unlike the case against its more traditional counterpart, the case against this deeper doing-allowing distinction can draw for support upon widely held “state of affairs centered” accounts of attitudes, actions, reasons and value, accounts (...)
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  31. Debunking Objective Consequentialism: The Challenge of Knowledge-Centric Anti-Luck Epistemology.Paul Silva Jr - 2020 - In Michael Klenk (ed.), Higher Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology. Routledge.
    I explain why, from the perspective of knowledge-centric anti-luck epistemology, objective act consequentialist theories of ethics imply skepticism about the moral status of our prospective actions and also tend to be self-defeating, undermining the justification of consequentialist theories themselves. For according to knowledge-centric anti-luck epistemology there are modal anti-luck demands on both knowledge and justification, and it turns out that our beliefs about the moral status of our prospective actions are almost never able to satisfy these demands if objective act (...)
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  32. Supererogation and Consequentialism.Alfred Archer - 2020 - 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 (...)
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  33. Agent-Relative Consequentialism and Collective Self-Defeat.Matthew Hammerton - 2020 - Utilitas 32 (4):472-478.
    Andrew Forcehimes and Luke Semrau argue that agent-relative consequentialism is implausible because in some circumstances it classes an act as impermissible yet holds that the outcome of all agents performing that impermissible act is preferable. I argue that their problem is closely related to Derek Parfit's problem of ‘direct collective self-defeat’ and show how Parfit's plausible solution to his problem can be adapted to solve their problem.
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  34. Consequentialism, Moral Motivation and the Deontic Relevance of Motives.Seven Sverdlik - forthcoming - In Iakovos Vasiliou (ed.), Moral Motivation: A History. Oxford University press.
    This paper surveys the history of consequentialist thinking about the deontic relevance of motives in the period of its development, 1789-1912. If a motive is relevant deontically it is a factor that determines whether the action it leads to is right or wrong. Bentham, Austin, Mill, Sidgwick and Moore all either stated or implied that motives are never relevant deontically. Their related views on moral motivation—or which motives are morally praiseworthy—are also examined. Despite the arguments given by Mill and Moore, (...)
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  35. A dilemma for rule-consequentialism.Jussi Suikkanen - 2008 - Philosophia 36 (1):141-150.
    Rule-consequentialists tend to argue for their normative theory by claiming that their view matches our moral convictions just as well as a pluralist set of Rossian duties. As an additional advantage, rule-consequentialism offers a unifying justification for these duties. I challenge the first part of the ruleconsequentialist argument and show that Rossian duties match our moral convictions better than the rule-consequentialist principles. I ask the rule-consequentialists a simple question. In the case that circumstances change, is the wrongness of acts (...)
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  36. 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. (...)
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  37. Three Forms of Actualist Direct Consequentialism.Shyam Nair - 2023 - Utilitas 35 (1):1-24.
    One family of maximizing act consequentialist theories are actualist direct theories. Indeed, historically there are at least three different forms of actualist direct consequentialism (due to Bentham, Moore, and contemporary consequentialists). This paper is about the logical differences between these three actualist direct theories and the differences between actualist direct theories and their competitors. Three main points emerge. First, the sharpest separation between actualist direct theories and their competitors concerns the so-called inheritance principle. Second, there are a myriad of (...)
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  38. Not Quite Non‐Consequentialism: The Implications of Pettit's ‘Three Mistakes about Doing Good ’ for Metaphysics and Moral Philosophy.Fiona Woollard - 2018 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (1):47-53.
    As its title indicates, Philip Pettit’s “Three Mistakes about Doing Good (and Bad)” identifies and rejects three common claims restricting what can count as a good (or bad ) effect of action. The key question here is how do we work out how much good you have brought about by your action? The first common claim is that only causal effects or consequences of action can count as goods that are brought about by an action. The second, that we can (...)
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  39. Agency, Character and the Real Failure of Consequentialism.Kevin C. Klement - 2000 - Auslegung 23 (1):1-34.
    Certain consequentialists have responded to deontological worries regarding personal projects or options and agent-centered restrictions or constraints by pointing out that it is consistent with consequentialist principles that people develop within themselves, dispositions to act with such things in mind, even if doing so does not lead to the best consequences on every occasion. This paper argues that making this response requires shifting the focus of moral evaluation off of evaluation of individual actions and towards evaluation of whole character traits (...)
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  40. Balancing Acts: Intending Good and Foreseeing Harm -- The Principle of Double Effect in the Law of Negligence.Edward C. Lyons - 2005 - Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy 3 (2):453-500.
    In this article, responding to assertions that the principle of double effect has no place in legal analysis, I explore the overlap between double effect and negligence analysis. In both, questions of culpability arise in situations where a person acts with no intent to cause harm but where reasonable foreseeability of unintended harm exists. Under both analyses, the determination of whether such conduct is permissible involves a reasonability test that balances that foreseeable harm against the good intended by the actor's (...)
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  41. Parfit on Reasons and Rule Consequentialism.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - In Simon Kirchin (ed.), Reading Parfit. Routledge.
    I argue that rule consequentialism sometimes requires us to act in ways that we lack sufficient reason to act. And this presents a dilemma for Parfit. Either Parfit should concede that we should reject rule consequentialism (and, hence, Triple Theory, which implies it) despite the putatively strong reasons that he believes we have for accepting the view or he should deny that morality has the importance he attributes to it. For if morality is such that we sometimes have (...)
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  42. A New Argument Against Rule Consequentialism.Christopher Woodard - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (3):247-261.
    We best understand Rule Consequentialism as a theory of pattern-based reasons, since it claims that we have reasons to perform some action because of the goodness of the pattern consisting of widespread performance of the same type of action in the same type of circumstances. Plausible forms of Rule Consequentialism are also pluralist, in the sense that, alongside pattern-based reasons, they recognise ordinary act-based reasons, based on the goodness of individual actions. However, Rule Consequentialist theories are distinguished from (...)
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  43. Was Dave Chappelle Morally Obliged to Leave Comedy? On the Limits of Consequentialism.Phillip Deen - 2020 - The Philosophy of Humor Yearbook 1 (1):135-152.
    Dave Chappelle took an extended leave from comedy for moral reasons. I argue that, while he had every right to leave comedy because of his moral concerns, he was not obliged to do so. To make this case, I present Chappelle’s argument that the potential negative consequences of his racial humor obliged him to leave. Next, I argue against Chappelle’s argument about avoidable harms as the harms are not his responsibility, he was not being negligent, and the benefits of his (...)
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  44. Resisting the Seductive Appeal of Consequentialism: Goals, Options, and Non-quantitative Mattering: Robert Noggle.Robert Noggle - 2003 - Utilitas 15 (3):279-307.
    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 (...)
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  45. Commentary for NASSP Award Symposium on 'Getting Our Act Together'.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2023 - Social Philosophy Today 39:215-226.
    This commentary is part of a symposium on my book 'Getting Our Act Together: A Theory of Collective Moral Obligations' (Routledge, 2021). Here, I respond to the members of the North American Society for Social Philosophy’s 2022 Book Award Committee. I discuss whether most moral theory is individualistic, arguing that “traditional ethical theories” - meaning the traditions of Virtue Ethics, Kantian ethics as well as consequentialist ethics - certainly are. All of these focus on what individual agents ought to do (...)
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  46. The Common Structure of Kantianism and Act-Utilitarianism.Christopher Woodard - 2013 - Utilitas 25 (2):246-265.
    This article proposes a way of understanding Kantianism, act-utilitarianism and some other important ethical theories according to which they are all versions of the same kind of theory, sharing a common structure. I argue that this is a profitable way to understand the theories discussed. It is charitable to the theories concerned; it emphasizes the common ground between them; it gives us insights into the differences between them; and it provides a method for generating new ethical theories worth studying. The (...)
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  47. 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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  48. Parfit's final arguments in normative ethics.Brad Hooker - 2021 - In J. McMahan, T. Campbell, J. Goodrich & K. Ramakrishnan (eds.), Principles and Persons: The Legacy of Derek Parfit. Oxford University Press. pp. 207-226.
    This paper starts by juxtaposing the normative ethics in the final part of Parfit's final book, On What Matters, vol. 3, with the normative ethics in his earlier books, Reasons and Persons and On What Matters, vol. 1. The paper then addresses three questions. The first is, where does the reflective-equilibrium methodology that Parfit endorsed in the first volume of On What Matters lead? The second is, is the Act-involving Act Consequentialism that Parfit considers in the final volume of (...)
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  49. The Consequences of Individual Consumption: A Defence of Threshold Arguments for Vegetarianism and Consumer Ethics.Ben Almassi - 2011 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (4):396-411.
    As a moral foundation for vegetarianism and other consumer choices, act consequentialism can be appealing. When we justify our consumer and dietary choices this way, however, we face the problem that our individual actions rarely actually precipitate more just agricultural and economic practices. This threshold or individual impotence problem engaged by consequentialist vegetarians and their critics extends to morally motivated consumer decision-making more generally, anywhere a lag persists between individual moral actions taken and systemic moral progress made. Regan and (...)
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  50. Probability in ethics.David McCarthy - 2016 - In Alan Hájek & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 705–737.
    The article is a plea for ethicists to regard probability as one of their most important concerns. It outlines a series of topics of central importance in ethical theory in which probability is implicated, often in a surprisingly deep way, and lists a number of open problems. Topics covered include: interpretations of probability in ethical contexts; the evaluative and normative significance of risk or uncertainty; uses and abuses of expected utility theory; veils of ignorance; Harsanyi’s aggregation theorem; population size problems; (...)
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