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  1. Individual Responsibility, Large-Scale Harms, and Radical Uncertainty.Rekha Nath - 2021 - The Journal of Ethics 25:267-291.
    Some consequentialists argue that ordinary individuals are obligated to act in specific, concrete ways to address large-scale harms. For example, they argue that we should each refrain from meat-eating and avoid buying sweatshop-made clothing. The case they advance for such prescriptions can seem intuitive and compelling: by acting in those ways, a person might help prevent serious harms from being produced at little or no personal cost, and so one should act in those ways. But I argue that such reasoning (...)
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  • Utilitarianism and Heuristics.Bernward Gesang - 2021 - Journal of Value Inquiry 55 (4):705-723.
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  • Cost-Benefit Analysis and Non-Utilitarian Ethics.Rosemary Lowry & Martin Peterson - 2012 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 11 (3):1470594-11416767.
    Cost-benefit analysis is commonly understood to be intimately connected with utilitarianism and incompatible with other moral theories, particularly those that focus on deontological concepts such as rights. We reject this claim and argue that cost-benefit analysis can take moral rights as well as other non-utilitarian moral considerations into account in a systematic manner. We discuss three ways of doing this, and claim that two of them (output filters and input filters) can account for a wide range of rights-based moral theories, (...)
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  • Moral Advice and Moral Theory.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 146 (3):349 - 359.
    Monists, pluralists, and particularists disagree about the structure of the best explanation of the rightness (wrongness) of actions. In this paper I argue that the availability of good moral advice gives us reason to prefer particularist theories and pluralist theories to monist theories. First, I identify two distinct roles of moral theorizing—explaining the rightness (wrongness) of actions, and providing moral advice—and I explain how these two roles are related. Next, I explain what monists, pluralists, and particularists disagree about. Finally, I (...)
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  • Why Take Both Boxes?Jack Spencer & Ian Wells - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1):27-48.
    The crucial premise of the standard argument for two-boxing in Newcomb's problem, a causal dominance principle, is false. We present some counterexamples. We then offer a metaethical explanation for why the counterexamples arise. Our explanation reveals a new and superior argument for two-boxing, one that eschews the causal dominance principle in favor of a principle linking rational choice to guidance and actual value maximization.
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  • 7 Consequentialism.Douglas W. Portmore - 2011 - In Christian Miller (ed.), Continuum Companion to Ethics. Continuum. pp. 143.
  • The Case Against Consequentialism: Methodological Issues.Nikil Mukerji - 2013 - In Miguel Holtje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), GAP.8 Proceedings. GAP (2013). Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie. pp. 654-665.
    Over the years, consequentialism has been subjected to numerous serious objections. Its adherents, however, have been remarkably successful in fending them off. As I argue in this paper, the reason why the case against consequentialism has not been more successful lies, at least partly, in the methodological approach that critics have commonly used. Their arguments have usually proceeded in two steps. First, a definition of consequentialism is given. Then, objections are put forward based on that definition. This procedure runs into (...)
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  • Ross and the Particularism/Generalism Divide.Kristian Olsen - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (1):56-75.
    W. D. Ross is commonly considered to be a generalist about prima facie duty but a particularist about absolute duty. That is, many philosophers hold that Ross accepts that there are true moral principles involving prima facie duty but denies that there are any true moral principles involving absolute duty. I agree with the former claim: Ross surely accepts prima facie moral principles. However, in this paper, I challenge the latter claim. Ross, I argue, is no more a particularist about (...)
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  • Objective Consequentialism and the Plurality of Chances.Leszek Wroński - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):12089-12105.
    I claim that objective consequentialism faces a problem stemming from the existence in some situations of a plurality of chances relevant to the outcomes of an agent’s acts. I suggest that this phenomenon bears structural resemblance to the well-known Reference Class problem. I outline a few ways in which one could attempt to deal with the issue, suggesting that it is the higher-level chance that should be employed by OC.
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  • Harming as Causing Harm.Elizabeth Harman - 2009 - In M. A. Roberts & D. T. Wasserman (eds.), Harming Future Persons. Springer Verlag. pp. 137--154.
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  • 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 consequentialism by (...)
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  • In Dubious Battle: Uncertainty and the Ethics of Killing.Seth Lazar - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (4):859-883.
    How should deontologists concerned with the ethics of killing apply their moral theory when we don’t know all the facts relevant to the permissibility of our action? Though the stakes couldn’t be higher, and uncertainty is endemic where killing is concerned, few deontologists have an answer to this question. In this paper I canvass two possibilities: that we should apply a threshold standard, equivalent to the ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ standard applied for criminal punishment; and that we should fit our (...)
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  • Is Evil Just Very Wrong?Todd Calder - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (1):177-196.
    Is evil a distinct moral concept? Or are evil actions just very wrong actions? Some philosophers have argued that evil is a distinct moral concept. These philosophers argue that evil is qualitatively distinct from ordinary wrongdoing. Other philosophers have suggested that evil is only quantitatively distinct from ordinary wrongdoing. On this view, evil is just very wrong. In this paper I argue that evil is qualitatively distinct from ordinary wrongdoing. The first part of the paper is critical. I argue that (...)
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  • A Rights-Based Perspective on Permissible Harm.Susanne Burri - unknown
    This thesis takes up a rights-based perspective to discuss a number of issues related to the problem of permissible harm. It appeals to a person’s capacity to shape her life in accordance with her own ideas of the good to explain why her death can be bad for her, and why each of us should have primary say over what may be done to her. The thesis begins with an investigation of the badness of death for the person who dies. (...)
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  • Consequentialism.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - In Christian Miller (ed.), Bloomsbury Handbook of Ethics. Bloomsbury.
  • Rational monism and rational pluralism.Jack Spencer - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):1769-1800.
    Consequentialists often assume rational monism: the thesis that options are always made rationally permissible by the maximization of the selfsame quantity. This essay argues that consequentialists should reject rational monism and instead accept rational pluralism: the thesis that, on different occasions, options are made rationally permissible by the maximization of different quantities. The essay then develops a systematic form of rational pluralism which, unlike its rivals, is capable of handling both the Newcomb problems that challenge evidential decision theory and the (...)
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  • When Propriety is Improper.Kevin Blackwell & Daniel Drucker - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (2):367-386.
    We argue that philosophers ought to distinguish epistemic decision theory and epistemology, in just the way ordinary decision theory is distinguished from ethics. Once one does this, the internalist arguments that motivate much of epistemic decision theory make sense, given specific interpretations of the formalism. Making this distinction also causes trouble for the principle called Propriety, which says, roughly, that the only acceptable epistemic utility functions make probabilistically coherent credence functions immodest. We cast doubt on this requirement, but then argue (...)
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  • Actual Utility, the Mismatch Problem, and the Move to Expected Utility.Robert Gruber - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):3097-3108.
    The mismatch problem for consequentialism arises whenever the theory delivers mismatched verdicts between a group act and the individual acts that compose it. A natural thought is that moving to expected utility versions of consequentialism will solve this problem. I explain why the move to expected utility is not successful.
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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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  • 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 act consequentialism, (...)
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  • Objectivism and Prospectivism About Rightness.Elinor Mason - 2013 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 7 (2):1-22.
    In this paper I present a new argument for prospectivism: the view that, for a consequentialist, rightness depends on what is prospectively best rather than what would actually be best. Prospective bestness depends on the agent’s epistemic position, though exactly how that works is not straightforward. I clarify various possible versions of prospectivism, which differ in how far they go in relativizing to the agent’s limitations. My argument for prospectivism is an argument for moderately objective prospectivism, according to which the (...)
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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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  • Deliberación, deliberación técnica y buena deliberación en la ética aristotélica.Alejandro Farieta - 2019 - Tópicos: Revista de Filosofía 56 (56):11-48.
    This paper faces the problem of how to determinate the framework in which, according to Aristotle, the deliberation and his results can be assessed: the decision and the consequent action. The problem emerges mainly because of what Aristotle calls “indetermination of deliberation,” since, in situations whose options about what to deliberate are blurred, it is difficult to determinate which is the framework that can be used to determinate if the decision resulting from the deliberation is accurate or not. To face (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Subjective Rightness.Holly M. Smith - 2010 - Social Philosophy and Policy 27 (2):64-110.
    Twentieth century philosophers introduced the distinction between “objective rightness” and “subjective rightness” to achieve two primary goals. The first goal is to reduce the paradoxical tension between our judgments of (i) what is best for an agent to do in light of the actual circumstances in which she acts and (ii) what is wisest for her to do in light of her mistaken or uncertain beliefs about her circumstances. The second goal is to provide moral guidance to an agent who (...)
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  • The Difference Principle is Not Action-Guiding.Rupert Read - 2011 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (4):487-503.
    Utilitarianism would allow any degree of inequality whatsoever productive of the greatest happiness of the greatest number. But it does not guide political action, because determining what level of inequality would produce the greatest happiness of the greatest number is opaque due to well-known psychological coordination problems. Does Rawlsian liberalism, as is generally assumed, have some superiority to Utilitarianism in this regard? This paper argues not; for Rawls?s ?difference principle? would allow any degree of inequality whatsoever that best raises up (...)
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