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  1. Chance and the Dissipation of Our Acts’ Effects.Derek Shiller - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):334-348.
    ABSTRACT If the future is highly sensitive to the past, then many of our acts have long-term consequences whose significance well exceeds that of their foreseeable short-term consequences. According to an influential argument by James Lenman, we should think that the future is highly sensitive to acts that affect people’s identities. However, given the assumption that chancy events are ubiquitous, the effects that our acts have are likely to dissipate over a short span of time. The sets of possible futures (...)
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  • Maximal Cluelessness.Andreas L. Mogensen - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (1):141-162.
    I argue that many of the priority rankings that have been proposed by effective altruists seem to be in tension with apparently reasonable assumptions about the rational pursuit of our aims in the face of uncertainty. The particular issue on which I focus arises from recognition of the overwhelming importance and inscrutability of the indirect effects of our actions, conjoined with the plausibility of a permissive decision principle governing cases of deep uncertainty, known as the maximality rule. I conclude that (...)
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  • Cluelessness.Hilary Greaves - 2016 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 116 (3):311-339.
    Decisions, whether moral or prudential, should be guided at least in part by considerations of the consequences that would result from the various available actions. For any given action, however, the majority of its consequences are unpredictable at the time of decision. Many have worried that this leaves us, in some important sense, clueless. In this paper, I distinguish between ‘simple’ and ‘complex’ possible sources of cluelessness. In terms of this taxonomy, the majority of the existing literature on cluelessness focusses (...)
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  • Clues for Consequentialists.Joanna M. Burch-Brown - 2014 - Utilitas 26 (1):105-119.
    In an influential paper, James Lenman argues that consequentialism can provide no basis for ethical guidance, because we are irredeemably ignorant of most of the consequences of our actions. If our ignorance of distant consequences is great, he says, we can have little reason to recommend one action over another on consequentialist grounds. In this article, I show that for reasons to do with statistical theory, the cluelessness objection is too pessimistic. We have good reason to believe that certain patterns (...)
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  • The Value of Practical Usefulness.Rob van Someren Greve - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (1):167-177.
    Some moral theories, such as objective forms of consequentialism, seem to fail to be practically useful: they are of little to no help in trying to decide what to do. Even if we do not think this constitutes a fatal flaw in such theories, we may nonetheless agree that being practically useful does make a moral theory a better theory, or so some have suggested. In this paper, I assess whether the uncontroversial respect in which a moral theory can be (...)
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