The Argument from Self-Creation: A Refutation of Act-Consequentialism and a Defense of Moral Options
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
American Philosophical Quarterly 48 (4):315 (2011)
The standard form of act-consequentialism requires us to perform the action with the best consequences; it allows choice between moral options only on those rare occasions when several actions produce equally good results. This paper argues for moral options and thus against act-consequentialism. The argument turns on the insight that some valuable things cannot exist unless our moral system allows options. One such thing is the opportunity for individuals to enact plans for their life from among alternatives. Because planning one’s life has value, and because it requires moral options, a world governed by a moral system that admits of options is better than one governed by act-consequentialism. The paper argues that these facts entail that morality admits of a significant number of moral options; act-consequentialism is false.
|Keywords||utilitarianism act-utilitarianism act-consequentialism consequentialism options prerogatives integrity identity|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Douglas W. Portmore, Chapter 5: Dual-Ranking Act-Consequentialism: Reasons, Morality, and Overridingness.
Peter Vallentyne (2006). Against Maximizing Act-Consequentialism (June 30, 2008). In James Dreier (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Moral Theories. Blackwell Publishers 6--21.
Peter Vallentyne (2006). Against Maximizing Act-Consequentialism (December 2, 2010) in Moral Theories Edited by Jamie Dreier (Blackwell Publishers, 2006), Pp. 21-37. [REVIEW] In Dreier Jamie (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Moral Theories. Blackwell Publishers
Douglas W. Portmore (2011). Consequentialism and Moral Rationalism. In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics. Oxford Univ Pr
Tyler Cowen (2006). The Epistemic Problem Does Not Refute Consequentialism. Utilitas 18 (04):383-.
Douglas W. Portmore (2003). Position‐Relative Consequentialism, Agent‐Centered Options, and Supererogation. Ethics 113 (2):303-332.
Douglas W. Portmore (2008). Dual-Ranking Act-Consequentialism. Philosophical Studies 138 (3):409 - 427.
Joseph Mendola (2005). Consequentialism, Group Acts, and Trolleys. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (1):64–87.
Robert Guay (2005). A Refutation of Consequentialism. Metaphilosophy 36 (3):348-362.
David McNaughton, Florida State University & Piers Rawling (2007). Deontology. In David Copp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory. OUP Usa
Douglas W. Portmore (2001). Can an Act-Consequentialist Theory Be Agent Relative? American Philosophical Quarterly 38 (4):363-77.
Johan E. Gustafsson (2014). Combinative Consequentialism and the Problem of Act Versions. Philosophical Studies 167 (3):585–596.
Martin Peterson (2003). From Consequentialism to Utilitarianism. Journal of Philosophy 100 (8):403-415.
Added to index2010-12-06
Total downloads523 ( #550 of 1,700,305 )
Recent downloads (6 months)81 ( #1,978 of 1,700,305 )
How can I increase my downloads?