Not so promising after all: Evaluator-relative teleology and common-sense morality

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (3):348–356 (2006)
Douglas Portmore has recently argued in this journal for a "promising result" – that combining teleological ethics with "evaluator relativism" about the good allows an ethical theory to account for deontological intuitions while "accommodat[ing] the compelling idea that it is always permissible to bring about the best available state of affairs." I show that this result is false. It follows from the indexical semantics of evaluator relativism that Portmore's compelling idea is false. I also try to explain what might have led to this misunderstanding.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0114.2006.00265.x
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Douglas W. Portmore (2007). Consequentializing Moral Theories. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (1):39–73.
Shyam Nair (2014). A Fault Line in Ethical Theory. Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):173-200.

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