David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (1):65 - 85 (2006)
In this paper I look at attempts to develop forms of consequentialism which do not have a feature considered problematic in Direct Consequentialist theories (that is, those consequentialist theories that apply the criterion of rightness directly in the evaluation of any set of options). The problematic feature in question (which I refer to as ‘evaluative conflict’) is the possibility that, for example, a right motive might lead an agent to perform a wrong act. Theories aiming to avoid this phenomenon must argue that causal relationship entails motives and acts (for example) having the same moral status. I argue that attempts to ensure such ‘evaluative consistency’ are themselves deeply problematic, and that we must therefore accept evaluative conflict.
|Keywords||direct consequentialism indirect consequentialism motives blameless wrongdoing moral evaluation|
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John Jamieson Carswell Smart & Bernard Williams (1973). Utilitarianism: For and Against. Cambridge University Press.
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