The impotence of the demandingness objection

Philosophers' Imprint 7:1-17 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Consequentialism, many philosophers have claimed, asks too much of us to be a plausible ethical theory. Indeed, the theory's severe demandingness is often claimed to be its chief flaw. My thesis is that as we come to better understand this objection, we see that, even if it signals or tracks the existence of a real problem for Consequentialism, it cannot itself be a fundamental problem with the view. The objection cannot itself provide good reason to break with Consequentialism, because it must presuppose prior and independent breaks with the view. The way the objection measures the demandingness of an ethical theory reflects rather than justifies being in the grip of key anti-Consequentialist conclusions. We should reject Consequentialism independently of the Objection or not at all. Thus, we can reduce by one the list of worrisome fundamental complaints against Consequentialism.

Similar books and articles

"Understanding the Demandingness Objection".David Sobel - 2020 - In Douglas W. Portmore (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism. New York, USA: Oup Usa.
V—Dimensions of Demandingness.Fiona Woollard - 2016 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 116 (1):89-106.
Solving Satisficing Consequentialism.Daniel McKay - 2021 - Philosophia 50 (1):149-157.
Heavy duty: on the demands of consequentialism.Björn Eriksson - 1994 - [Stockholm]: Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International.
7 Consequentialism.Douglas W. Portmore - 2011 - In Christian Miller (ed.), Continuum Companion to Ethics. Continuum. pp. 143.
Impartial Reasons, Moral Demands.Brian McElwee - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (4):457-466.
Praise, blame, and demandingness.Rick Morris - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (7):1857-1869.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
854 (#19,284)

6 months
101 (#56,518)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

David Sobel
Syracuse University

References found in this work

Thinking about Cases.Shelly Kagan - 2001 - Social Philosophy and Policy 18 (2):44.

Add more references