Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (3):701-714 (2019)

Jörg Löschke
University of Zürich
A promising strategy to make progress in the debate between consequentialist and non-consequentialist moral theories is to unravel the background assumptions of the respective views and discuss their plausibility. This paper discusses a background assumption of consequentialism that has not been noticed so far. Consequentialists claim that morality is about maximizing the impersonal good, and the background assumption is that an appropriate response to the impersonal good is necessarily a response to the impersonal good as a whole. In this paper, I argue that we should understand the impersonal good as a complex good, and that an appropriate responses to a complex good need not be a response to that good as whole. This constitutes a novel objection against consequentialism.
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-019-10020-y
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Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Value in Ethics and Economics.Elizabeth Anderson - 1993 - Harvard University Press.

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