David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Studies 162 (2):219-236 (2013)
Rule consequentialism (RC) is the view that it is right for A to do F in C if and only if A's doing F in C is in accordance with the the set of rules which, if accepted by all, would have consequences which are better than any alternative set of rules (i.e., the ideal code). I defend RC from two related objections. The first objection claims that RC requires obedience to the ideal code even if doing so has disastrous results. Though some rule consequentialists embrace a disaster-clause which permits agents to disregard some of the rules in the ideal code as a necessary means of avoiding disasters, they have not adequately explained how this clause works. I offer such an explanation and show how it fits naturally with the rest of RC. The second disaster objection asserts that even if RC can legitimately invoke a disaster-clause, it lacks principled grounds from distinguishing disasters from non-disasters. In response, I explore Hooker's suggestion that “disaster” is vague. I contend that every plausible ethical theory must invoke something similar to a disaster clause. So if “disaster” is vague, then every plausible ethical theory faces a difficulty with it. As a result, this vagueness is not a reason to prefer other theories to RC. However, I argue, contra Hooker, that the sense of “disaster” relevant to RC is not vague, and RC does indeed have principled grounds to distinguish disasters from nondisasters.
|Keywords||Act consequentialism Rule consequentialism Agent-centered constraints Disasters Ideal code Vagueness|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Bernard Arthur Owen Williams (1985). Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. Harvard University Press.
H. L. A. Hart (1994). The Concept of Law. Oxford University Press.
Derek Parfit (2011). On What Matters. Oxford University Press.
Derek Parfit (1984). Reasons and Persons. Oxford University Press.
Timothy Williamson (1994). Vagueness. Routledge.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Colleen Murphy & Paolo Gardoni (2010). Gauging the Societal Impacts of Natural Disasters Using a Capability Approach. Disasters 34 (3):619-636.
Leonard Kahn (2012). Rule Consequentialism and Scope. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5):631-646.
Han-Liang Chang (2006). Disaster Semiotics. Sign Systems Studies 34 (1):215-229.
Richard Arneson (2005). Sophisticated Rule Consequentialism: Some Simple Objections. Philosophical Issues 15 (1):235–251.
Brad Hooker (2000). Ideal Code, Real World: A Rule-Consequentialist Theory of Morality. Oxford University Press.
Alan Muller & Gail Whiteman (2009). Exploring the Geography of Corporate Philanthropic Disaster Response: A Study of Fortune Global 500 Firms. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 84 (4):589 - 603.
Stephen David Ross (2010). Disaster. International Studies in Philosophy Monograph Series:335-350.
Jussi Suikkanen (2008). A Dilemma for Rule-Consequentialism. Philosophia 36 (1):141-150.
C. Murphy & P. Gardoni (2008). Recovery From Natural and Man-Made Disasters As Capabilities Restoration and Enhancement. International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning 3 (4):1-17.
Iain Law (1999). Rule-Consequentialism's Dilemma. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (3):263-276.
Caddie Putnam Rankin, Harry Van Buren & Michelle Westermann-Behaylo (2012). Corporate Compassion in Disaster Relief. Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 23:66-77.
Ruth Austin Miller (2009). Law in Crisis: The Ecstatic Subject of Natural Disaster. Stanford University Press.
Added to index2010-09-30
Total downloads60 ( #55,594 of 1,725,840 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #268,271 of 1,725,840 )
How can I increase my downloads?