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Consequences of consequentialism

Mind 102 (405):101-122 (1993)

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  1. Is Objective Act Consequentialism Satisfiable?Johan E. Gustafsson - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):193-202.
    A compelling requirement on normative theories is that they should be satisfiable, that is, in every possible choice situation with a finite number of alternatives, there should be at least one performable act such that, if one were to perform that act, one would comply with the theory. In this paper, I argue that, given some standard assumptions about free will and counterfactuals, Objective Act Consequentialism violates this requirement.
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  • Judith Jarvis Thomson, Goodness and Advice (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000), XVI + 188 Pp. [REVIEW]Michael J. Zimmerman - 2004 - Noûs 38 (3):534–552.
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  • Evolution and Neuroethics in the Hyperion Cantos.Brendan Shea - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 3 (3).
    In this article, I use science-fiction scenarios drawn from Dan Simmons’ “Hyperion Cantos” (Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion, Endymion, The Rise of Endymion) to explore a cluster of issues related to the evolutionary history and neural bases of human moral cognition, and the moral desirability of improving our ability to make moral decisions by techniques of neuroengineering. I begin by sketching a picture of what recent research can teach us about the character of human moral psychology, with a particular emphasis (...)
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  • Consequentializing.Douglas W. Portmore - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (2):329-347.
    A growing trend of thought has it that any plausible nonconsequentialist theory can be consequentialized, which is to say that it can be given a consequentialist representation. In this essay, I explore both whether this claim is true and what its implications are. I also explain the procedure for consequentializing a nonconsequentialist theory and give an account of the motivation for doing so.
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  • A Big, Good Thing: T.M. Scanlon, What We Owe to Each Other (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998).David Sosa - 2004 - Noûs 38 (2):359–377.
  • T.M. Scanlon, What We Owe to Each Other (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998) A Big, Good Thing.David Sosa - 2004 - Noûs 38 (2):359-377.
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  • The Probabilistic Nature of Objective Consequentialism.Jean-Paul Vessel - 2007 - Theoria 73 (1):46 - 67.
    Theorists have consistently maintained that the most plausible forms of objective consequentialism must be probabilistic if and only if indeterminism is true. This standard position, however popular, lacks sufficient motivation. Assume determinism to be true and an attempt will be made to show that attractive forms of objective consequentialism must be probabilistic - and not for reasons related to our epistemic limitations either. -/- Here it is argued that all extant objective formulations of consequentialism fail to deliver the normative implications (...)
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  • Love and Ethics in the Works of J. M. E. McTaggart.J. Bieber Trevor - 2015 - Dissertation,
    This dissertation attempts to make contributions to normative ethics and to the history of philosophy. First, it contributes to the defense of consequentialist ethics against objections grounded upon the value of loving relationships. Secondly, it provides the first systematic account of John M. E. McTaggart’s ethical theory and its relation to his philosophy of love. According to consequentialist ethics, it is always morally wrong to knowingly do what will make the world worse-off than it could have been. Many consequentialists also (...)
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  • Culpability and Irresponsibility.Martin Montminy - 2018 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 12 (1):167-181.
    I defend the principle that a person is blameworthy for her action only if that action was morally wrong. But what should we say about an agent who does the right thing based on bad motives? I present three types of cases that have these features. In each, I argue, the agent is not culpable for her action; however, she violates the norm of moral responsibility, and thus acts in a morally irresponsible way. This analysis, I show, has several virtues. (...)
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  • Counterfactuals for Consequentialists.Jean-Paul Vessel - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 112 (2):103 - 125.
    That all subjunctive conditionals with true antecedents and trueconsequents are themselves also true is implied by every plausibleand popularly endorsed account. But I am wary of endorsing thisimplication. I argue that all presently endorsed accounts fail tocapture the nature of certain subjunctive conditionals in contextsof consequentialist reasoning. I attempt to show that we must allowfor the possibility that some subjunctive conditionals with trueantecedents and true consequents are false, if we are to believethat certain types of straightforward consequentialist reasoningare coherent. I (...)
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  • The Harmful Influence of Decision Theory on Ethics.Sven Ove Hansson - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (5):585-593.
    In the last half century, decision theory has had a deep influence on moral theory. Its impact has largely been beneficial. However, it has also given rise to some problems, two of which are discussed here. First, issues such as risk-taking and risk imposition have been left out of ethics since they are believed to belong to decision theory, and consequently the ethical aspects of these issues have not been treated in either discipline. Secondly, ethics has adopted the decision-theoretical idea (...)
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  • Open Questions and Consequentialist Conditionals: Central Puzzles in Moorean Moral Philosophy.Jean-Paul Vessel - 2003 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Moore's Open Question Arguments are among the most influential arguments in 20th Century metaethical thought. But, surprisingly, there is a fair amount of confusion concerning what the Open Question Arguments actually are, how the Moorean passages should be interpreted, and what they are intended to show. Thus, the early chapters are devoted to clarificatory matters, including the exposing of a variety of contemporary attacks upon Moore's arguments as misguided by indicating where they rest upon faulty interpretations of Moorean passages. Providing (...)
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  • Ethical Issues in Outsourcing: The Case of Contract Medical Research and the Global Pharmaceutical Industry. [REVIEW]Henry Adobor - 2012 - Journal of Business Ethics 105 (2):239-255.
    The outsourcing of medical research has become a strategic imperative in the global pharmaceutical industry. Spurred by the challenges of competition, the need for speed in drug development, and increasing domestic costs, pharmaceutical companies across the globe continue to outsource critical parts of their value chain activities, namely contract clinical research and drug testing, to sponsors across the globe, typically into emerging markets. While it is clear that important ethical issues arise with this practice, unraveling moral responsibility and the allocation (...)
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  • Hierarchical Motive Structures and Their Role in Moral Choices.Richard P. Bagozzi, Leslie E. Sekerka & Vanessa Hill - 2009 - Journal of Business Ethics 90 (S4):461 - 486.
    Leader-managers face a myriad of competing values when they engage in ethical decision-making. Few studies help us understand why certain reasons for action are justified, taking precedence over others when people choose to respond to an ethical dilemma. To help address this matter we began with a qualitative approach to disclose leader-managers' moral motives when they decide to address a work-related ethical dilemma. One hundred and nine military officers were asked to provide their reasons for taking action, justifications of their (...)
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  • One Consequence of Consequentialism: Morality and Overdetermination. [REVIEW]T. Zamir - 2001 - Erkenntnis 55 (2):155-168.
  • Exiting The Consequentialist Circle: Two Senses of Bringing It About.Paul Edward Hurley - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (2):130-163.
    Consequentialism is a state of affairs centered moral theory that finds support in state of affairs centered views of value, reason, action, and desire/preference. Together these views form a mutually reinforcing circle. I map an exit route out of this circle by distinguishing between two different senses in which actions can be understood as bringing about states of affairs. All actions, reasons, desires, and values involve bringing about in the first, deflationary sense, but only some appear to involve bringing about (...)
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  • Scopes, Options, and Horizons – Key Issues in Decision Structuring.Sven Ove Hansson - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (2):259-273.
    Real-life decision-making often begins with a disorderly decision problem that has to be clarified and systematized before a decision can be made. This is the process of decision structuring that has largely been ignored both in decision theory and applied decision analysis. In this contribution, ten major components of decision structuring are identified, namely the determination of its scope, subdivision, agency, timing, options, control ascriptions, framing, horizon, criteria and restructuring. Four of these components, namely the scope, subdivision, options, and horizon (...)
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  • Justicized Consequentialism: Prioritizing the Right or the Good?Simon Wigley - 2012 - Journal of Value Inquiry 46 (4):467-479.
    A standard criticism of act-utilitarianism is that it is only indirectly concerned with the distribution of welfare between individuals and, therefore, does not take adequate account of the separateness between individuals. In response a number of philosophers have argued that act-utilitarianism is only vulnerable to that objection because it adheres to a theory of the good which ignores non-welfarist sources of intrinsic value such as justice. Fred Feldman, for example, argues that intrinsic value is independently generated by the receipt of (...)
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  • Norm Reasons and Evidentialism.Frank Hofmann & Christian Piller - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):202-206.
    It has been argued by Clayton Littlejohn that cases of insufficient evidence provide an argument against evidentialism. He distinguishes between evidential reasons and norm-reasons, but this distinction can be accepted by evidentialists, as we argue. Furthermore, evidentialists can acknowledge the existence of norm-reasons stemming from an epistemic norm, like the norm that one should not believe a proposition if one has only insufficient evidence for it. An alternative interpretation of evidentialism according to which it rejects the existence of norm-reasons is (...)
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  • Consequentialism.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Skeptical Theism.Timothy Perrine & Stephen Wykstra - 2017 - In Paul K. Moser & Chad Meister (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Problem of Evil. Cambridge University Press. pp. 85-107.
    Skeptical theism is a family of responses to the evidential problem of evil. What unifies this family is two general claims. First, that even if God were to exist, we shouldn’t expect to see God’s reasons for permitting the suffering we observe. Second, the previous claim entails the failure of a variety of arguments from evil against the existence of God. In this essay, we identify three particular articulations of skeptical theism—three different ways of “filling in” those two claims—and describes (...)
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  • Is Moral Obligation Objective or Subjective?Michael J. Zimmerman - 2006 - Utilitas 18 (4):329-361.
    Many philosophers hold that whether an act is overall morally obligatory is an ‘objective’ matter, many that it is a ‘subjective’ matter, and some that it is both. The idea that it is or can be both may seem to promise a helpful answer to the question ‘What ought I to do when I do not know what I ought to do?’ In this article, three broad views are distinguished regarding what it is that obligation essentially concerns: the maximization of (...)
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  • Consequentializing Moral Theories.Douglas W. Portmore - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (1):39–73.
    To consequentialize a non-consequentialist theory, take whatever considerations that the non-consequentialist theory holds to be relevant to determining the deontic statuses of actions and insist that those considerations are relevant to determining the proper ranking of outcomes. In this way, the consequentialist can produce an ordering of outcomes that when combined with her criterion of rightness yields the same set of deontic verdicts that the non-consequentialist theory yields. In this paper, I argue that any plausible non-consequentialist theory can be consequentialized. (...)
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  • The Moral Oracle’s Test.Sven Ove Hansson - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):643-651.
    When presented with a situation involving an agent’s choice between alternative actions, a moral oracle says what the agent is allowed to do. The oracle bases her advice on some moral theory, but the nature of that theory is not known by us. The moral oracle’s test consists in determining whether a series of questions to the oracle can be so constructed that her answers will reveal which of two given types of theories she adheres to. The test 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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  • In Defense of a Version of Satisficing Consequentialism.Jason Rogers - 2010 - Utilitas 22 (2):198-221.
    In this paper, I develop, motivate and offer a qualified defense of a version of satisficing consequentialism (SC). I develop the view primarily in light of objections to other versions of SC recently posed by Ben Bradley. I motivate the view by showing that it (1) accommodates the intuitions apparently supporting those objections, (2) is supported by certain ‘common sense’ moral intuitions about specific cases, and (3) captures the central ideas expressed by satisficing consequentialists in the recent literature. Finally, I (...)
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  • Commonsense Morality and the Consequentialist Ethics of Humanitarian Intervention.Eric A. Heinze - 2005 - Journal of Military Ethics 4 (3):168-182.
    Abstract Finding a moral justification for humanitarian intervention has been the objective of a great deal of academic inquiry in recent years. Most of these treatments, however, make certain arguments or assumptions about the morality of humanitarian intervention without fully exploring their precise philosophical underpinnings, which has led to an increasingly disjointed body of literature. The purpose of this essay, therefore, is to suggest that the conventional arguments and assumptions made about the morality of humanitarian intervention can be encompassed in (...)
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