Two kinds of satisficing

Philosophical Studies 59 (1):107 - 111 (1990)
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Michael Slote has defended a moral view that he calls "satisficing consequentialism." Less demanding than maximizing consequentialism, it requires only that agents bring about consequences that are "good enough." I argue that Slote's characterization of satisficing is ambiguous. His idea of consequences' being "good enough" admits of two interpretations, with different implications in (some) particular cases. One interpretation I call "absolute-level" satisficing, the other "comparative" satisficing. Once distinguished, these versions of satisficing appear in a very different light. Absolute-level satisficing is indeed plausible and attractive, at least for subjective-good versions of consequentialism; comparative satisficing is not



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Thomas Hurka
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

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