Consequentialize This

Ethics 121 (4):749-771 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

To 'consequentialise' is to take a putatively non-consequentialist moral theory and show that it is actually just another form of consequentialism. Some have speculated that every moral theory can be consequentialised. If this were so, then consequentialism would be empty; it would have no substantive content. As I argue here, however, this is not so. Beginning with the core consequentialist commitment to 'maximising the good', I formulate a precise definition of consequentialism and demonstrate that, given this definition, several sorts of moral theory resist consequentialisation. My strategy is to decompose consequentialism into three conditions, which I call 'agent neutrality', 'no moral dilemmas', and 'dominance', and then to exhibit some moral theories which violate each of these.

Similar books and articles

Consequentializing and its consequences.S. Andrew Schroeder - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (6):1475-1497.
The Cost of Consequentialization.Hanno Sauer - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (1-2):100-109.
Consequentializing moral theories.Douglas W. Portmore - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (1):39–73.
Morality, Uncertainty.Chad Lee-Stronach - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (2):334-358.
Agent Neutrality is the Exclusive Feature of Consequentialism.Desheng Zong - 2000 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):676-693.
Supererogation and Consequentialism.Alfred Archer - 2020 - In Douglas W. Portmore (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
Consequentialism, Constraints, and Good-Relative-to.Jussi Suikkanen - 2008 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 3 (1):1-9.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-07-18

Downloads
981 (#14,646)

6 months
95 (#52,416)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Campbell Brown
London School of Economics

Citations of this work

Consequentialism.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Epistemic Teleology and the Separateness of Propositions.Selim Berker - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (3):337-393.
Consequentializing.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Accuracy and Evidence.Richard Pettigrew - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (4):579-596.

View all 65 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Attitudes de dicto and de se.David Lewis - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.
Alienation, consequentialism, and the demands of morality.Peter Railton - 1984 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 13 (2):134-171.
How to define theoretical terms.David Lewis - 1970 - Journal of Philosophy 67 (13):427-446.
.Peter Railton - 1985 - Rowman & Littlefield.

View all 19 references / Add more references