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  1. Epistemic Humility, Arguments From Evil, and Moral Skepticism.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2009 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 2:17-57.
    Reprinted in Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, Wadsworth, 2013, 6th edition, eds. Michael Rea and Louis Pojman. In this essay, I argue that the moral skepticism objection to what is badly named "skeptical theism" fails.
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  • Empirical Ignorance as Defeating Moral Intuitions? A Puzzle for Rule Consequentialists.Caleb Perl - 2019 - Analysis 79 (1):62-72.
    This paper develops an argument that, if rule consequentialism is true, it’s not possible to defend it as the outcome of reflective equilibrium. Ordinary agents like you and me are ignorant of too many empirical facts. Our ignorance is a defeater for our moral intuitions. Even worse, there aren’t enough undefeated intuitions left to defend rule consequentialism. The problem I’ll describe won’t be specific to rule consequentialists, but it will be especially sharp for them.
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  • Consequentialism and Cluelessness.James Lenman - 2000 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 29 (4):342-370.
  • Consequentialism, Metaphysical Realism and the Argument From Cluelessness.Dale Dorsey - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (246):48-70.
    Lenman's ‘argument from cluelessness’ against consequentialism is that a significant percentage of the consequences of our actions are wholly unknowable, so that when it comes to assessing the moral quality of our actions, we are without a clue. I distinguish the argument from cluelessness from traditional epistemic objections to consequentialism. The argument from cluelessness should be no more problematic for consequentialism than the argument from epistemological scepticism should be for metaphysical realism. This puts those who would reject consequentialism on the (...)
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  • When Will a Consequentialist Push You in Front of a Trolley?Scott Woodcock - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):299-316.
    As the trolley problem runs its course, consequentialists tend to adopt one of two strategies: silently take comfort in the fact that deontological rivals face their own enduring difficulties, or appeal to cognitive psychology to discredit the deontological intuitions on which the trolley problem depends. I refer to the first strategy as silent schadenfreude and the second as debunking attack. My aim in this paper is to argue that consequentialists ought to reject both strategies and instead opt for what I (...)
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  • Informed Altruism and Utilitarianism.Brian Rosebury - forthcoming - Social Theory and Practice 47 (4):717-746.
    Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory that assigns value impartially to the well-being of each person. Informed Altruism, introduced in this article, is an intentionalist theory that relegates both consequentialism and impartiality to subordinate roles. It identifies morally right or commendable actions as those motivated by a sufficiently informed intention to benefit and not harm others. An implication of the theory is that multiple agents may perform incompatible actions and yet each be acting rightly in a moral sense.
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  • Solving the Ideal Worlds Problem.Caleb Perl - 2021 - Ethics 132 (1):89-126.
    I introduce a new formulation of rule consequentialism, defended as an improvement on traditional formulations. My new formulation cleanly avoids what Parfit calls “ideal world” objections. I suggest that those objections arise because traditional formulations incorporate counterfactual comparisons about how things could go differently. My new formulation eliminates those counterfactual comparisons. Part of the interest of the new formulation is as a model of how to reformulate structurally similar views, including various kinds of contractualism.
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  • Ethical Theory and Population Problems.Kevin Espen Moon - 2001 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Ethical theory faces a group of difficult puzzles concerning populations. Here is one: would it be right to maximize utility by causing the number of people existing in the further future to be very, very large, even if this means that each of their lives is barely worth living? Derek Parfit concludes that standard utilitarianism yields the result that it would be right to create such a world. He calls this conclusion "repugnant." I begin with an examination of the objection, (...)
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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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  • The Epistemic Problem Does Not Refute Consequentialism.Tyler Cowen - 2006 - Utilitas 18 (4):383.
    “Perhaps the most common objection to consequentialism is this: it is impossible to know the future…This means that you will never be absolutely certain as to what all the consequences of your act will be…there may be long term bad effects from your act, side effects that were unforeseen and indeed unforeseeable…So how can we tell which act will lead to the best results overall – counting all the results? This seems to mean that consequentialism will be unusable as a (...)
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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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  • ¿Consecuencias, de qué? Claves de la subsistencia del Utilitarismo.Francisco Lara - 2011 - Telos: Revista Iberoamericana de Estudios Utilitaristas 18 (1):105-125.
    Despite the strong criticisms to ethical utilitarianism, this theory has not succumbed and remains one of the most notorious. The main criticisms address to the consequentialist conception of right that underlies the theory. However,it has been such a conception of right that, at the same time, saved utilitarianism. The article set out the features and changes that, according to the author, are the causes to explain the subsistence of utilitarianism.
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  • Consequentialism, Teleology, and the New Friendship Critique.Robert F. Card - 2004 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85 (2):149-172.
  • The Importance of Defining the Feasible Set.Tyler Cowen - 2007 - Economics and Philosophy 23 (1):1-14.
    How should we define the feasible set? Even when individuals agree on facts and values, as traditionally construed, different views on feasibility may suffice to produce very different policy conclusions. Focusing on the difficulties in the feasibility concept may help us resolve some policy disagreements, or at least identify the sources of those disagreements. Feasibility is most plausibly a matter of degree rather than of kind. Normative economic reasoning therefore faces a fuzzy social budget constraint. Iterative reasoning about feasibility and (...)
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