Relativized Rankings

In Douglas W. Portmore (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 46-66 (2020)
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Abstract

In traditional consequentialism the good is position-neutral. A single evaluative ranking of states of affairs is correct for everyone, everywhere regardless of their positions. Recently, position-relative forms of consequentialism have been developed. These allow for the correct rankings of states to depend on connections that hold between the state being evaluated and the position of the evaluator. For example, perhaps being an agent who acts in a certain state requires me to rank that state differently from someone else who lacks this connection. In this chapter several different kinds of position-relative rankings related to agents, times, physical locations, and possible worlds are explored. Arguments for and against adopting a position-relative axiology are examined, and it is suggested that position-relative consequentialism is a promising moral theory that has been underestimated.

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Matthew Hammerton
Singapore Management University

Citations of this work

The Fundamental Divisions in Ethics.Matthew Hammerton - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-24.
What Would Lewis Do?Daniel Nolan - forthcoming - In Helen Beebee & Anthony Fisher (eds.), Perspectives on the Philosophy of David K. Lewis. Oxford University Press.

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