The Oughts and Cans of Objective Consequentialism

Utilitas 11 (01):91-96 (1999)
Frances Howard-Snyder has argued that objective consequentialism violates the principle that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’. In most situations, she claims, we cannot produce the best consequences available, although objective consequentialism says that we ought to do so. Here I try to show that Howard-Snyder's argument is unsound. The claim that we typically cannot produce the best consequences available is doubtful. And even if there is a sense of ‘producing the best consequences’ in which we cannot do so, objective consequentialism does not entail that we ought, in this sense, to produce the best consequences.
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DOI 10.1017/S0953820800002284
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