Is consequentialist perdurantism in moral trouble?

Synthese 198 (11):10979-10990 (2020)
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There has been a growing worry that perdurantism—and similarly ontologically abundant views—is morally untenable. For perdurantism posits that, coinciding with persons, are person-like objects, and giving them their moral due seems to require giving up prudentially driven self-sacrifice. One way to avoid this charge is to adopt consequentialism. But Mark Johnston has argued that the marriage of consequentialism and perdurantism is in moral trouble. For, depending on the nature of time, consequentialist perdurantists either are unable to do more than one good act or they are morally obliged to adopt a repugnant form of ageism. I argue both that perdurantist consequentialism doesn’t have the latter implication, and that there’s at least one plausible form of consequentialism that perdurantists can adopt to avoid the former implication.

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Michael Longenecker
Zhongnan University of Economics and Law

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References found in this work

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):278-279.

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