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You Don't Have to Do What's Best! (A problem for consequentialists and other teleologists)

In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics. Oxford University Press (2011)

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  1. Living with Uncertainty: The Moral Significance of Ignorance.Michael J. Zimmerman - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.
    Every choice we make is set against a background of massive ignorance about our past, our future, our circumstances, and ourselves. Philosophers are divided on the moral significance of such ignorance. Some say that it has a direct impact on how we ought to behave - the question of what our moral obligations are; others deny this, claiming that it only affects how we ought to be judged in light of the behaviour in which we choose to engage - the (...)
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  • Common Sense Morality and Consequentialism.Michael Slote - 1985 - Routledge & Kegan.
  • Beyond Optimizing: A Study of Rational Choice.Michael A. Slote - 1989 - Harvard University Press.
    Argues that rather than pursuing every optimizing choice, individuals use common sense in making decisions, and includes real-life examples.
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  • Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
    Challenging, with several powerful arguments, some of our deepest beliefs about rationality, morality, and personal identity, Parfit claims that we have a false view about our own nature. It is often rational to act against our own best interersts, he argues, and most of us have moral views that are self-defeating. We often act wrongly, although we know there will be no one with serious grounds for complaint, and when we consider future generations it is very hard to avoid conclusions (...)
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  • The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy.William Paley & Robert Faulder - 1785 - Printed for R. Faulder.
    A major philosophical mind in his day, William Paley wrote in a lucid style that made complex ideas more accessible to a wide readership. This work, first published in 1785, was based on the lectures he gave on moral philosophy at Christ's College, Cambridge. Cited in parliamentary debates and remaining on the syllabus at Cambridge into the twentieth century, it stands as one of the most influential texts to emerge from the Enlightenment period in Britain. An orthodox theologian, grounding his (...)
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  • The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
    Human beings have the unique ability to view the world in a detached way: We can think about the world in terms that transcend our own experience or interest, and consider the world from a vantage point that is, in Nagel's words, "nowhere in particular". At the same time, each of us is a particular person in a particular place, each with his own "personal" view of the world, a view that we can recognize as just one aspect of the (...)
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  • Principia Ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - Dover Publications.
    First published in 1903, this volume revolutionized philosophy and forever altered the direction of ethical studies. A philosopher’s philosopher, G. E. Moore was the idol of the Bloomsbury group, and Lytton Strachey declared that Principia Ethica marked the rebirth of the Age of Reason. This work clarifies some of moral philosophy’s most common confusions and redefines the science’s terminology. Six chapters explore: the subject matter of ethics, naturalistic ethics, hedonism, metaphysical ethics, ethics in relation to conduct, and the ideal. Moore's (...)
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  • The Limits of Morality.Shelly Kagan - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
    Most people believe that there are limits to the sacrifices that morality can demand. Although it would often be meritorious, we are not, in fact, morally required to do all that we can to promote overall good. What's more, most people also believe that certain types of acts are simply forbidden, morally off limits, even when necessary for promoting the overall good. In this provocative analysis Kagan maintains that despite the intuitive appeal of these views, they cannot be adequately defended. (...)
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  • Brentano and Intrinsic Value.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1986 - Cambridge University Press.
    Franz Brentano developed an original theory of intrinsic value which he attempted to base on his philosophical psychology. Roderick Chisholm presents here a critical exposition of this theory and its place in Brentano's general philosophical system. He gives a detailed account of Brentano's ontology, showing how Brentano tried to secure objectivity for ethics not through a theory of practical reason, but through his theory of the intentional objects of emotions and desires. Professor Chisholm goes on to develop certain suggestions about (...)
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  • Kantian Consequentialism.David Cummiskey - 1996 - Oup Usa.
    This book attempts to derive a strong consequentialist moral theory from Kantian foundations. It thus challenges the prevailing view that Kant's moral theory is hostile to consequentialism, and brings together the two main opposing tendencies in modern moral theory.
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  • Common Sense Morality and Consequentialism.Michael A. Slote - 1985 - Philosophy 61 (238):552-553.
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  • Common Sense Morality and Consequentialism.Michael A. Slote - 1986 - Philosophical Quarterly 36 (144):399-412.
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  • Utilitarianism, Deontology, and the Priority of Right.Samuel Freeman - 1994 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 23 (4):313-349.
  • Normative Ethics.Shelly Kagan - 1998 - Routledge.
    Providing a thorough introduction to current philosophical views on morality, Normative Ethics examines an acts rightness or wrongness in terms of such factors as consequences, harm, and consent. Shelly Kagan offers a division between moral factors and theoretical foundations that reflects the actual working practices of contemporary moral philosophers.Intended for upper-level or graduate students of philosophy, this book should also appeal to the general reader looking for a clearly written overview of the basic principles of moral philosophy. }Providing a thorough (...)
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  • Consequentialism.Philip Pettit - 1991 - Dartmouth Publishing Company.
    This work deals with all aspects of consequentialism, encompassing utilitarianism, alienation and the demands of morality, restrictive consequentialism, alternative actions, an objectivist's guide to subjective value, recent work on the limits of obligation and more.
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  • Akratic Action and the Practical Role of Better Judgment.Alfred R. Mele - 1991 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 72:33-47.
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  • Weighing Goods: Equality, Uncertainty and Time.John Broome - 1991 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    This study uses techniques from economics to illuminate fundamental questions in ethics, particularly in the foundations of utilitarianism. Topics considered include the nature of teleological ethics, the foundations of decision theory, the value of equality and the moral significance of a person's continuing identity through time.
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  • An Outline of a System of Utilitarian Ethics.J. J. C. SMART - 1961 - [Carlton]Melbourne University Press on Behalf of the University of Adelaide.
     
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  • Culpability and Ignorance.Gideon Rosen - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (1):61-84.
    When a person acts from ignorance, he is culpable for his action only if he is culpable for the ignorance from which he acts. The paper defends the view that this principle holds, not just for actions done from ordinary factual ignorance, but also for actions done from moral ignorance. The question is raised whether the principle extends to action done from ignorance about what one has most reason to do. It is tentatively proposed that the principle holds in full (...)
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  • Relativity of Value and the Consequentialist Umbrella.Jennie Louise - 2004 - Philosophical Quarterly 54 (217):518–536.
    Does the real difference between non-consequentialist and consequentialist theories lie in their approach to value? Non-consequentialist theories are thought either to allow a different kind of value (namely, agent-relative value) or to advocate a different response to value ('honouring' rather than 'promoting'). One objection to this idea implies that all normative theories are describable as consequentialist. But then the distinction between honouring and promoting collapses into the distinction between relative and neutral value. A proper description of non-consequentialist theories can only (...)
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  • The Heart of Consequentialism.Frances Howard-Snyder - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 76 (1):107 - 129.
  • Deontic Logic.Paul McNamara - 2006 - In Dov Gabbay & John Woods (eds.), The Handbook of the History of Logic, vol. 7: Logic and the Modalities in the Twentieth Century. Elsevier Press. pp. 197-288.
    Overview of fundamental work in deontic logic.
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  • Metaethical Contextualism Defended.Gunnar Björnsson & Stephen Finlay - 2010 - Ethics 121 (1):7-36.
    We defend a contextualist account of deontic judgments as relativized both to (i) information and to (ii) standards or ends, against recent objections that turn on practices of moral disagreement. Kolodny & MacFarlane argue that information-relative contextualism cannot accommodate the connection between deliberation and advice; we suggest in response that they misidentify the basic concerns of deliberating agents. For pragmatic reasons, semantic assessments of normative claims sometimes are evaluations of propositions other than those asserted. Weatherson, Schroeder and others have raised (...)
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  • Deontic Logic.Paul McNamara - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Structures of Normative Theories.James Dreier - 1993 - The Monist 76 (1):22-40.
    Normative theorists like to divide normative theories into classes. One special point of focus has been to place utilitarianism into a larger class of theories which do not necessarily share its view about what is alone of impersonal intrinsic value, namely, individual human well-being, but do share another structural feature, roughly its demand that each person seek to maximize the realization of what is of impersonal intrinsic value. The larger class is distinguished from its complement in two apparently different ways. (...)
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  • A Consequentialist Case for Rejecting the Right.Frances Howard-Snyder & Alastair Norcross - 1993 - Journal of Philosophical Research 18:109-125.
    Satisficing and maximizing versions of consequentialism have both assumed that rightness is an alI-or-nothing property. We argue thal this is inimical to the spirit of consequentialism, and that, from the point of view of the consequentialist, actions should be evaluated purely in terms that admit of degree. We first consider the suggestion that rightness and wrongness are a matter of degree. If so, this raises the question of whether the claim that something is wrong says any more than that it (...)
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  • Consequentialism.William Haines - 2006 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
     
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  • Rights and Agency.Amartya Sen - 1982 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 11 (1):3-39.
    This paper is about three distinct but interrelated problems: (1) the role 0f rights in moral theory, (2) thc characterization 0f agent relative values and their admissibility in consequ<—:ncc—bascd evaluation, and ( 3) the nature 0f moral evaluation 0f states 0f aihirs.
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  • Teleology, Agent‐Relative Value, and 'Good'.Mark Schroeder - 2007 - Ethics 117 (2):265-000.
    It is now generally understood that constraints play an important role in commonsense moral thinking and generally accepted that they cannot be accommodated by ordinary, traditional consequentialism. Some have seen this as the most conclusive evidence that consequentialism is hopelessly wrong,1 while others have seen it as the most conclusive evidence that moral common sense is hopelessly paradoxical.2 Fortunately, or so it is widely thought, in the last twenty-five years a new research program, that of Agent-Relative Teleology, has come to (...)
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  • Agent-Centred Restrictions, Rationality, and the Virtues.Samuel Scheffler - 1985 - Mind 94 (375):409-419.
  • The View from Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 50 (4):729-730.
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  • Deontic Restrictions Are Not Agent-Relative Restrictions.Eric Mack - 1998 - Social Philosophy and Policy 15 (2):61.
    The primary purpose of this essay is to offer a critique of a particular program within moral and political philosophy. This program can be stated quite succinctly. It is to account for agents' being subject to deontic restrictions on the basis of their possession of agent-relative reasons for acting in accordance with those restrictions. Needless to say, the statement of this program requires some further explication. Specifically, two claims require explanation: the reasons individuals have for or against engaging in particular (...)
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  • Utilitarianism and the Virtues.Philippa Foot - 1983 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 57 (2):273-283.
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  • In Defense of Consequentializing.James Dreier - 2011 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 1. Oxford University Press.
  • The Ethics of Belief.Richard Feldman - 2000 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 60 (3):667-695.
    In this paper I will address a few of the many questions that fall under the general heading of “the ethics of belief.” In section I I will discuss the adequacy of what has come to be known as the “deontological conception of epistemic justification” in the light of our apparent lack of voluntary control over what we believe. In section II I’ll defend an evidentialist view about what we ought to believe. And in section III I will briefly discuss (...)
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  • Utilitarianism and the Virtues.Philippa Foot - 1985 - Mind 94 (374):196-209.
  • Meta-Ethics.Michael Smith - 2005 - In Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 3--30.
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  • A Theory of Justice.John Rawls - unknown
    Though the revised edition of A Theory of Justice, published in 1999, is the definitive statement of Rawls's view, so much of the extensive literature on Rawls's theory refers to the first edition.
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  • Reasons Without Demands: Rethinking Rightness.Alastair Norcross - 2006 - In James Lawrence Dreier (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Moral Theory. Blackwell. pp. 38--54.
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  • The Consequentialist Perspective.William Shaw - 2006 - In James Lawrence Dreier (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Moral Theory. Blackwell. pp. 6--5.
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  • “The Scalar Approach to Utilitarianism”.Alastair Norcross - 2006 - In Henry West (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Mill's Utilitarianism. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 217--32.
  • Decision-Theoretic Consequentialism and the Nearest and Dearest Objection.Frank Jackson - 1991 - Ethics 101 (3):461-482.
  • Contrary-to-Duty Imperatives and Deontic Logic.R. M. Chisholm - 1963 - Analysis 24 (2):33-36.
  • Neutral and Relative Value After Moore.Michael Smith - 2003 - Ethics 113 (3):576-598.
  • Commonsense Morality and Not Being Required to Maximize the Overall Good.Douglas W. Portmore - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 100 (2):193-213.
    On commonsense morality, there are two types of situations where an agent is not required to maximize the impersonal good. First, there are those situations where the agent is prohibited from doing so--constraints. Second, there are those situations where the agent is permitted to do so but also has the option of doing something else--options. I argue that there are three possible explanations for the absence of a moral requirement to maximize the impersonal good and that the commonsense moralist must (...)
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  • How Strong is This Obligation? An Argument for Consequentialism From Concomitant Variation.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2009 - Analysis 69 (3):438-442.
    The rule ‘Keep your promises’ is often presented as a challenge to consequentialism, because the ground of your moral obligation not to break a promise seems to lie in the past fact that you made the promise, which is not a consequence of the act. A different picture emerges, however, when we move beyond the question of whether you have any moral obligation at all to the related question of how strong that obligation is.If I promise to meet you and (...)
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  • Kantian Consequentialism.David Cummiskey - 1990 - Ethics 100 (3):586-615.
    The central problem for normative ethics is the conflict between a consequentialist view--that morality requires promoting the good of all--and a belief that the rights of the individual place significant constraints on what may be done to help others. Standard interpretations see Kant as rejecting all forms of consequentialism, and defending a theory which is fundamentally duty-based and agent-centered. Certain actions, like sacrificing the innocent, are categorically forbidden. In this original and controversial work, Cummiskey argues that there is no defensible (...)
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  • Having Evidence.Richard Feldman - 1988 - In D. F. Austin (ed.), Philosophical Analysis. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 83--104.
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  • The Moral Clout of Reasonable Beliefs.Holly M. Smith - 2010 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume I. Oxford University Press.
    Because we must often make decisions in light of imperfect information about our prospective actions, the standard principles of objective obligation must be supplemented with principles of subjective obligation (which evaluate actions in light of what the agent believes about their circumstances and consequences). The point of principles of subjective obligation is to guide agents in making decisions. But should these principles be stated in terms of what the agent actually believes or what it would be reasonable for her to (...)
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  • Beyond Optimizing. A Study of Rational Choice.Michael Slote - 1992 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 54 (2):359-359.
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