Environmental Harms, causation, and act utilitarianism

Environmental Ethics 26 (2):189-203 (2004)
Abstract
Act utilitarians often use causation in after-the-fact assessments of accountability in group environmental harms. Such attempts are seriously flawed. Causation need not, and many times should not, be important in assessments of accountability for act utilitarians. A model that maximizes utility in such assessments called the “best fit model” provides a good alternative. Because use of this model leads to more utility than models of after-the-fact accountability which rely on causal links, act utilitarians should adhere to the “best fit model” regardless of actual causal links. Although the “best fit model” is a better method to assign accountability using an act utilitarian approach than methods involving causation, it does have a serious flaw in regard to application and future utility. Given this flaw, the model (indeed, any after-the-fact model of accountability) is not enough to ensure future utility maximization. To maximize utility to the fullest, the model should be used along with incentives to prevent environmental harm before it occurs. Perhaps if such incentives are strong enough, the model may not need to be imposed at all. However, in cases where harm does occur, the “best fit model” yields the most utility. Thus, if the “best fit model” is not an acceptable method by which to assess responsibility, neither is act utilitarianism
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,007
External links
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
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

17 ( #97,259 of 1,101,181 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #116,198 of 1,101,181 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.