Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (3):263-276 (1999)

Iain Law
University of Birmingham
This paper examines recent attempts to defend Rule-Consequentialism against a traditional objection. That objection takes the form of a dilemma, that either Rule-Consequentialism collapses into Act-Consequentialism or it is incoherent. Attempts to avoid this dilemma based on the idea that using RC has better results than using AC are rejected on the grounds that they conflate the ideas of a criterion of rightness and a decision procedure. Other strategies, Brad Hooker's prominent amongst them, involving the thought that RC need contain no overarching concern to maximize the good are acknowledged to avoid the original dilemma, but lead to further problems of motivating and justifying RC in the absence of such a concern. The paper argues that Hooker's attempt to deal with these problems by using a 'Reflective Equilibrium plus method is unsuccessful.
Keywords act-consequentialism  criterion of rightness  decision procedure  Hooker  moral theory  reflective equilibrium  rule-consequentialism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1009951012026
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,066
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Morality and the Theory of Rational Behavior.John Harsanyi - 1977 - Social Research: An International Quarterly 44 (4):623-656.
Rule-Consequentialism.Brad Hooker - 1990 - Mind 99 (393):67-77.
Rule Utilitarianism and Decision Theory.JohnC Harsanyi - 1977 - Erkenntnis 11 (1):25 - 53.
Rule-Consequentialism.Brad Hooker - 2007 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Ethical theory: an anthology. pp. 482-492.
II—Rule-Consequentialism, Incoherence, Fairness.Brad Hooker - 1995 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 95 (1):19-36.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Some Moral Benefits of Ignorance.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-18.
On the Incoherence Objection to Rule-Utilitarianism.Alex Rajczi - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (4):857-876.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Demandingness Objection.Brad Hooker - 2009 - In T. Chappell (ed.), The Problem of Moral Demandingness. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 148-162.
A Refutation of Consequentialism.Robert Guay - 2005 - Metaphilosophy 36 (3):348-362.
A Dilemma for Rule-Consequentialism.Jussi Suikkanen - 2008 - Philosophia 36 (1):141-150.
Consequentialism and Decision Procedures.Toby Ord - 2005 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
Objective Consequentialism and the Licensing Dilemma.Vuko Andrić - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):547-566.
Introducing Variable-Rate Rule-Utilitarianism.Michael Ridge - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):242 - 253.


Added to PP index

Total views
108 ( #107,066 of 2,498,775 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #422,193 of 2,498,775 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes