SLOTE'S SATISFICING CONSEQUENTIALISM

Ratio 6 (2):121 - 134 (2006)
Abstract
The article discusses Michael Slote's Satisficing Consequentialism, which is the view that moral agents are not required to maximise the good, but merely to produce a sufficient amount of good. It is argued that Satisficing Consequentialism is not an acceptable alternative to Maximising Consequentialism. In particular, it is argued that Satisficing Consequentialism cannot be less demanding in practice than Maximising Consequentialism without also endorsing a wide range of clearly unacceptable actions. It is then argued that Slote's inability to provide adequate reasons for moral satisficing stems from a mistaken analogy between rationality and morals. The sense of 'good enough' which is relevant to morality is one which focusses on the effort an agent puts in, rather than on the outcome she produces. However, replacing outcomes with efforts would undermine Slote's Consequentialist project. Finally, it is suggested that similar problems will be faced by others who seek to construct essentially Consequentialist theories which are not unduly demanding.
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