Exiting The Consequentialist Circle: Two Senses of Bringing It About

Analytic Philosophy 60 (2):130-163 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


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 in a second, rationalizing sense. I demonstrate that the views making up this circle hold, implausibly, that all reasons, values, desires, and actions involve bringing about in both senses, and that failure to distinguish these senses obscures the implausibility of these views as a set. I demonstrate, in addition, that the distinction blocks two common arguments that otherwise threaten to leverage us back in to the consequentialist circle.

Similar books and articles

Agent Neutrality is the Exclusive Feature of Consequentialism.Desheng Zong - 2000 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):676-693.
Consequentialism and commitment.Alastair Norcross - 1997 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (4):380–403.
Relativity of value and the consequentialist umbrella.Jennie Louise - 2004 - Philosophical Quarterly 54 (217):518–536.
Equality, coercion, culture and social norms.Richard J. Arneson - 2003 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 2 (2):139-163.
Taxonomising the Senses.Fiona Macpherson - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (1):123-142.
"Two Senses of Moral Verdict and Moral Overridingness".Paul Hurley - 2016 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 6. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 215-240.
The significance of the senses.Matthew Nudds - 2004 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (1):31-51.
Causality.B. F. Mcguinness & Friedrich Waismann - 2011 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 15:91-184.
Dummett on Bringing About the Past.Brian Garrett - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (1):113-115.
Consequentializing moral theories.Douglas W. Portmore - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (1):39–73.
Consequentializing and its consequences.S. Andrew Schroeder - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (6):1475-1497.
The Hidden Consequentialist Assumption.Paul Hurley - 1992 - Analysis 52 (4):241 - 248.
Immediate and Reflective Senses.Angela Mendelovici - 2019 - In Dena Shottenkirk, Manuel Curado & Steven Gouveia (eds.), Perception, Cognition, and Aesthetics. New York: Routledge. pp. 187-209.


Added to PP

251 (#51,308)

6 months
57 (#28,184)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Paul Hurley
Claremont McKenna College

Citations of this work

Consequentializing.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Add more citations

References found in this work

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.

View all 45 references / Add more references