Scalar consequentialism the right way

Philosophical Studies 175 (12):3131-3144 (2018)
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Abstract

The rightness and wrongness of actions fits on a continuous scale. This fits the way we evaluate actions chosen among a diverse range of options, even though English speakers don’t use the words “righter” and “wronger”. I outline and defend a version of scalar consequentialism, according to which rightness is a matter of degree, determined by how good the consequences are. Linguistic resources are available to let us truly describe actions simply as right. Some deontological theories face problems in accounting for degrees of rightness, as they don't invoke continuous parameters among the right-making features of action.

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Neil Sinhababu
National University of Singapore

Citations of this work

Consequentialism.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Degrees of Assertability.Sam Carter - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (1):19-49.
Consequentialism and Nonhuman Animals.Tyler John & Jeff Sebo - 2020 - In Douglas W. Portmore (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 564-591.
Pleasure is goodness; morality is universal.Neil Sinhababu - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-17.

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The moral problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1969 - Harmondsworth,: Penguin Books. Edited by Ernest Campbell Mossner.
Knowledge and practical interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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