Dual-ranking act-consequentialism

Philosophical Studies 138 (3):409 - 427 (2008)
Dual-ranking act-consequentialism (DRAC) is a rather peculiar version of act-consequentialism. Unlike more traditional forms of act-consequentialism, DRAC doesn’t take the deontic status of an action to be a function of some evaluative ranking of outcomes. Rather, it takes the deontic status of an action to be a function of some non-evaluative ranking that is in turn a function of two auxiliary rankings that are evaluative. I argue that DRAC is promising in that it can accommodate certain features of commonsense morality that no single-ranking version of act-consequentialism can: supererogation, agent-centered options, and the self-other asymmetry. I also defend DRAC against three objections: (1) that its dual-ranking structure is ad hoc, (2) that it denies (putatively implausibly) that it is always permissible to make self-sacrifices that don’t make things worse for others, and (3) that it violates certain axioms of expected utility theory, viz., transitivity and independence.
Keywords Utilitarianism  Consequentialism  Self-other asymmetry  Options  Sider  Splawn
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DOI 10.2307/40208883
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Douglas W. Portmore (2009). Consequentializing. Philosophy Compass 4 (2):329-347.

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