About this topic
Summary Act-consequentialists rank acts according to how good their consequences would be and then hold that the permissibility of acts is a function of this ranking. For instance, maximizing act-utilitarians rank acts according to how much utility they would produce and then hold that an act is permissible if and only if it produces at least as much utility as that of any alternative act. Rule-consequentialists, by contrast, rank, not acts, but sets of rules according to how good their consequences would be if they were widely (or universally) accepted (or complied with) and then hold that an act is permissible if and only if it is permitted by a set of rules whose associated consequences would be at least as good as that associated with any alternative set of rules. Some key issues are (1) whether rule-consequentialism is guilty of collapsing into act-consequentialism or, if not, whether it can still be a coherent view, (2) whether rule-consequentialism can adequately deal with cases where these is only partial compliance with the ideal set of rules, (3) whether rule-consequentialism is overly demanding, and (4) whether rule-consequentialism can adequately deal with cases where abiding by one of the rules in the ideal set would have disastrous consequences. 
Key works You can get a pretty good sense of the current debate by reading both Hooker 2000 and Arneson 2005.
Introductions The best introduction, to my mind, is Hooker 2000.
Related categories

138 found
Order:
1 — 50 / 138
  1. added 2020-02-11
    Ideal Code, Real World: A Rule-Consequentialist Theory of Morality.William H. Shaw - 2001 - Mind 110 (440):1074-1077.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   16 citations  
  2. added 2019-08-23
    Empirical Ignorance as Defeating Moral Intuitions? A Puzzle for Rule Consequentialists.Caleb Perl - 2019 - Analysis 79 (1):62-72.
    This paper develops an argument that, if rule consequentialism is true, it’s not possible to defend it as the outcome of reflective equilibrium. Ordinary agents like you and me are ignorant of too many empirical facts. Our ignorance is a defeater for our moral intuitions. Even worse, there aren’t enough undefeated intuitions left to defend rule consequentialism. The problem I’ll describe won’t be specific to rule consequentialists, but it will be especially sharp for them.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  3. added 2019-06-06
    Measuring the Consequences of Rules: Holly M. Smith.Holly M. Smith - 2010 - Utilitas 22 (4):413-433.
    Recently two distinct forms of rule-utilitarianism have been introduced that differ on how to measure the consequences of rules. Brad Hooker advocates fixed-rate rule-utilitarianism, while Michael Ridge advocates variable-rate rule-utilitarianism. I argue that both of these are inferior to a new proposal, optimum-rate rule-utilitarianism. According to optimum-rate rule-utilitarianism, an ideal code is the code whose optimum acceptance level is no lower than that of any alternative code. I then argue that all three forms of rule-utilitarianism fall prey to two fatal (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   12 citations  
  4. added 2019-06-06
    Rule-Consequentialism and Irrelevant Others: Douglas W. Portmore.Douglas W. Portmore - 2009 - Utilitas 21 (3):368-376.
    In this article, I argue that Brad Hooker's rule-consequentialism implausibly implies that what earthlings are morally required to sacrifice for the sake of helping their less fortunate brethren depends on whether or not other people exist on some distant planet even when these others would be too far away for earthlings to affect.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (9 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  5. added 2019-06-06
    Hooker’s Ideal Code and the Sacrifice Problem.Rob Lawlor - 2004 - Social Theory and Practice 30 (4):583-587.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  6. added 2019-06-06
    Ideal Code, Real World. [REVIEW]Pedro Galvão - 2004 - Disputatio 1 (17):79-84.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  7. added 2019-06-06
    Review of 'The Demands of Consequentialism' by T. Mulgan. [REVIEW]Bradford Hooker - unknown
  8. added 2019-06-06
    Virtue Ethics Vs. Rule-Consequentialism: A Reply to Brad Hooker: Rosalind Hursthouse.Rosalind Hursthouse - 2002 - Utilitas 14 (1):41-53.
    In On Virtue Ethics I offered a criterion for a character trait's being a virtue according to which a virtuous character trait must conduce to, or at least not be inimical to, four ends, one of which is the continuance of the human species. I argue here that this does not commit me to homosexuality's being a vice, since homosexuality is not a character trait and hence not up for assessment as a virtue or a vice. Vegetarianism is not up (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  9. added 2019-06-06
    Rule‐Governed Institutions Versus Act‐Consequentialism: A Rejoinder to Naticchia.Allen Buchanan - 1999 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 28 (3):258-270.
  10. added 2019-06-06
    Rule Utilitarianism, Equality, and Justice: JOHN C. HARSANYI.John C. Harsanyi - 1985 - Social Philosophy and Policy 2 (2):115-127.
    Utilitarianism and the Concept of Social Utility In this paper I propose to discuss the concepts of equality and justice from a rule utilitarian point of view, after some comments on the rule utilitarian point of view itself. Let me start with the standard definitions. Act utilitarianism is the theory that a morally right action is one that in the existing situation will produce the highest expected social utility. In contrast, rule utilitarianism is the theory that a morally right action (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  11. added 2019-06-06
    “Is Rule Utilitarianism Too Restricted?”.R. David Broiles - 1964 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 2 (4):180-187.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  12. added 2019-06-05
    Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism.Douglas W. Portmore (ed.) - forthcoming - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    This handbook will contain approximately thirty previously unpublished contributions by important philosophers, covering what’s happening in the field of consequentialism today and pointing to new directions for future research.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  13. added 2019-06-05
    How Much is Rule-Consequentialism Really Willing to Give Up to Save the Future of Humanity?Patrick Kaczmarek - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (2):239-249.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  14. added 2019-06-05
    Rule-Consequentialism and the Significance of Species.Pedro Galvão - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (4):396-414.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  15. added 2019-06-05
    Book ReviewsBrad Hooker,. Ideal Code, Real World.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Pp. 213. $19.95.George W. Harris - 2003 - Ethics 113 (4):882-885.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  16. added 2019-05-12
    II—Rule-Consequentialism, Incoherence, Fairness.Brad Hooker - 1995 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 95 (1):19-36.
  17. added 2018-06-15
    Consequentialism and Its Demands: The Role of Institutions.Attila Tanyi & András Miklós - manuscript
    It isn’t saying much to claim that morality is demanding; the question, rather, is: can morality be so demanding that we have reason not to follow its dictates? According to many, it can, if that morality is a consequentialist one. This paper takes the plausibility and coherence of this objection – the Demandingness Objection – as a given. Our question, therefore, is how to respond to the Objection. We put forward a response that we think has not received sufficient attention (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  18. added 2018-06-10
    Psychological Mechanism of Corruption: A Comprehensive Review. [REVIEW]Juneman Abraham, Julia Suleeman & Bagus Takwin - forthcoming - Asian Journal of Scientific Research.
    Corruption prevention can be more effective if it does not rely merely on legal enforcement. This theoretical review aimed to propose a hypothetical psychological model capable of explaining the behavior of corruption. Moral disengagement is a variable that is considered ontologically closest in “distance” to the variable of corruption behavior. Counterfeit self, implicit self-theory, ethical mindset and moral emotion are taken into account as the pivotal factors of the corruption behavior and its mechanism of moral disengagement. Counterfeit self along with (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  19. added 2018-05-31
    Introducing Recursive Consequentialism: A Modified Version of Cooperative Utilitarianism.Evan G. Williams - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (269):794-812.
    This article proposes ‘Recursive Consequentialism’: the moral theory which gives agents whatever advice will produce good consequences by being given. It can be thought of as a version of Donald Regan's ‘Cooperative Utilitarianism’ to which two additional elements have been added: allowing people with differing conceptions of ‘good consequences’, e.g., a Utilitarian and a non-Utilitarian, to cooperate with one another, and taking into account the full consequences of accepting, not just complying with, moral guidance. The theory is motivated by a (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  20. added 2018-02-05
    What Is Conventionalism About Moral Rights and Duties?Katharina Nieswandt - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):15-28.
    ABSTRACTA powerful objection against moral conventionalism says that it gives the wrong reasons for individual rights and duties. The reason why I must not break my promise to you, for example, should lie in the damage to you—rather than to the practice of promising or to all other participants in that practice. Common targets of this objection include the theories of Hobbes, Gauthier, Hooker, Binmore, and Rawls. I argue that the conventionalism of these theories is superficial; genuinely conventionalist theories are (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  21. added 2017-12-21
    Institutional Consequentialism and Global Governance.Attila Tanyi & András Miklós - 2017 - Journal of Global Ethics 13 (3):279-297.
    Elsewhere we have responded to the so-called demandingness objection to consequentialism – that consequentialism is excessively demanding and is therefore unacceptable as a moral theory – by introducing the theoretical position we call institutional consequentialism. This is a consequentialist view that, however, requires institutional systems, and not individuals, to follow the consequentialist principle. In this paper, we first introduce and explain the theory of institutional consequentialism and the main reasons that support it. In the remainder of the paper, we turn (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  22. added 2017-03-16
    Solving Rule-Consequentialism's Acceptance Rate Problem.Timothy D. Miller - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (1):41-53.
    Recent formulations of rule-consequentialism have attempted to select the ideal moral code based on realistic assumptions of imperfect acceptance. But this introduces further problems. What assumptions about acceptance would be realistic? And what criterion should we use to identify the ideal code? The solutions suggested in the recent literature all calculate a code's value using formulas that stipulate some uniform rate of acceptance. After pointing out a number of difficulties with these approaches, I introduce a formulation of RC on which (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  23. added 2017-03-16
    Act-Consequentialism Versus Rule-Consequentialism.Bradford Hooker - 2016 - In Steven Cahn & Andrew Forcehimes (eds.), Principles of Moral Philosophy: Classic and Contemporary Approaches. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  24. added 2017-03-16
    The Burdens of Morality: Why Act‐Consequentialism Demands Too Little.Tom Dougherty - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):82-85.
    A classic objection to act-consequentialism is that it is overdemanding: it requires agents to bear too many costs for the sake of promoting the impersonal good. I develop the complementary objection that act-consequentialism is underdemanding: it fails to acknowledge that agents have moral reasons to bear certain costs themselves, even when it would be impersonally better for others to bear these costs.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  25. added 2017-03-16
    Rule Consequentialism at Top Rates.Teemu Toppinen - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly:pqv065.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  26. added 2017-03-16
    The Failure of Hooker’s Argument for Rule Consequentialism.Sanford Levy - 2014 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 11 (5):598-614.
    Brad Hooker argues for rule consequentialism using narrow reflective equilibrium resources along with a handful of wider resources. One of his important claims in defense of rule consequentialism is that it begins from a familiar and attractive idea about morality. I argue that his defense of rule consequentialism fails and more particularly, that rather than beginning from a familiar and attractive idea, it begins from an idea that is quite unattractive. I show this by applying the method rule consequentialists use (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  27. added 2017-03-16
    Promises and Rule Consequentialism.Bradford Hooker - unknown
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  28. added 2017-03-16
    Rule-Consequentialism and Internal Consistency: A Reply to Card.Bradford Hooker - unknown
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  29. added 2017-03-16
    Two Concepts of Rule Utilitarianism.Rex Martin - 2007 - Southwest Philosophy Review 23 (1):49-58.
  30. added 2017-03-16
    Rule Consequentialism.Bradford Hooker - unknown
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   14 citations  
  31. added 2017-03-16
    Review of Brad Hooker, Ideal Code, Real World[REVIEW]Julia Driver - 2002 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2002 (6).
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  32. added 2017-03-16
    Morality, Rules, and Consequences: A Critical Reader.Brad Hooker, Elinor Mason, Dale E. Miller, D. W. Haslett, Shelly Kagan, Sanford S. Levy, David Lyons, Phillip Montague, Tim Mulgan, Philip Pettit, Madison Powers, Jonathan Riley, William H. Shaw, Michael Smith & Alan Thomas (eds.) - 2000 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    What determines whether an action is right or wrong? Morality, Rules, and Consequences: A Critical Reader explores for students and researchers the relationship between consequentialist theory and moral rules. Most of the chapters focus on rule consequentialism or on the distinction between act and rule versions of consequentialism. Contributors, among them the leading philosophers in the discipline, suggest ways of assessing whether rule consequentialism could be a satisfactory moral theory. These essays, all of which are previously unpublished, provide students in (...)
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  33. added 2017-03-16
    Rule Utilitarianism.Brad Hooker - unknown
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  34. added 2017-03-03
    Wouldn't It Be Nice? Moral Rules and Distant Worlds.Abelard Podgorski - 2018 - Noûs 52 (2):279-294.
    Traditional rule consequentialism faces a problem sometimes called the ideal world objection—the worry that by looking only at the consequences in worlds where rules are universally adhered to, the theory fails to account for problems that arise because adherence to rules in the real world is inevitably imperfect. In response, recent theorists have defended sophisticated versions of rule consequentialism which are sensitive to the consequences in worlds with less utopian levels of adherence. In this paper, I argue that these attempts (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  35. added 2017-01-14
    Ideal Code, Real World: A Rule-Consequentialist Theory of Morality.Brad Hooker - 2002 - Oxford University Press UK.
    What are appropriate criteria for assessing a theory of morality? In Ideal Code, Real World, Brad Hooker begins by answering this question, and then argues for a rule-consequentialist theory. According to rule-consequentialism, acts should be assessed morally in terms of impartially justified rules, and rules are impartially justified if and only if the expected overall value of their general internalization is at least as great as for any alternative rules. In the course of developing his rule-consequentialism, Hooker discusses impartiality, well-being, (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   20 citations  
  36. added 2016-12-21
    Mill’s Moral Standard.Ben Eggleston - 2017 - In Christopher Macleod & Dale E. Miller (eds.), A Companion to Mill. Oxford, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. pp. 358-373.
    A book chapter (about 7,000 words, plus references) on the interpretation of Mill’s criterion of right and wrong, with particular attention to act utilitarianism, rule utilitarianism, and sanction utilitarianism. Along the way, major topics include Mill’s thoughts on liberalism, supererogation, the connection between wrongness and punishment, and breaking rules when doing so will produce more happiness than complying with them will.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  37. added 2016-12-12
    Moral Legislation: A Legal-Political Model for Indirect Consequentialist Reasoning.Conrad D. Johnson - 1991 - Cambridge University Press.
    This is a book about moral reasoning: how we actually reason and how we ought to reason. It defends a form of 'rule' utilitarianism whereby we must sometimes judge and act in moral questions in accordance with generally accepted rules, so long as the existence of those rules is justified by the good they bring about. The author opposes the currently more fashionable view that it is always right for the individual to do that which produces the most good. Among (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  38. added 2016-12-08
    Actual Rule Utilitarianism.Richard B. Miller - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (1):5-28.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  39. added 2016-09-19
    Rule Consequentialism and Moral Relativism in Advance.Ryan Jenkins - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Research.
    Rule consequentialism is usually taken to recommend a single ideal code for all moral agents. Here I argue that, depending on their theoretical mo- tivations, some rule consequentialists have good reasons to be relativists. Rule consequentialists who are moved by consequentialist considerations ought to support a scheme of multiple relativized moral codes because we could expect such a scheme to have better consequences in terms of impartial aggregate well- being than a single universal code. Rule consequentialists who nd compelling the (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  40. added 2016-08-21
    Rule Consequentialism and Non-Identity.Tim Mulgan - 2009 - In David Wasserman & Melinda Roberts (eds.), Harming Future Persons. Springer. pp. 115--134.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  41. added 2016-08-20
    Consequentialism.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  42. added 2016-08-20
    Moral Theory and Political Practice: A Rule-Consequentialist Account of the Relation Between Ethics and Politics.David Gordon Lockwood - unknown
    Many philosophers argue for the Distinct Political Morality Thesis, which holds that private and political life are governed by different normative theories. I reject this claim, and must therefore find a theory that adequately encompasses both realms. I argue in Part I of this thesis that rule-consequentialism offers a defensible compromise. However, standard accounts of the theory are vulnerable to the 'collapse/incoherence dilemma'. Brad Hooker's version solves the collapse objection, but still faces difficulties associated with rule-worship and conflicts between rules. (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  43. added 2016-08-20
    Rule-Consequentialism and Its Virtues.Brad Hooker - 2008 - Rivista di Filosofia 99 (3):491-510.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  44. added 2016-08-20
    HOOKER, B.-Ideal Code, Real World.J. Lenman - 2003 - Philosophical Books 44 (2):181-182.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  45. added 2016-08-20
    One False Virtue of Rule Consequentialism, and One New Vice.Tim Mulgan - 1996 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 77 (4):362-373.
    A common objection to _act consequentialism (AC) is that it makes unreasonable demands on moral agents. _Rule consequentialism (RC) is often presented as a less demanding alternative. It is argued that this alleged virtue of RC is false, as RC will not be any less demanding in practice than AC. It is then demonstrated that RC has an additional (hitherto unnoticed) vice, as it relies upon the undefended simplifying assumption that the best possible consequences would arise in a society in (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  46. added 2016-05-17
    A New Argument Against Rule Consequentialism.Christopher Woodard - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (3):247-261.
    We best understand Rule Consequentialism as a theory of pattern-based reasons, since it claims that we have reasons to perform some action because of the goodness of the pattern consisting of widespread performance of the same type of action in the same type of circumstances. Plausible forms of Rule Consequentialism are also pluralist, in the sense that, alongside pattern-based reasons, they recognise ordinary act-based reasons, based on the goodness of individual actions. However, Rule Consequentialist theories are distinguished from other pluralist (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  47. added 2016-05-17
    Reasons, Patterns, and Cooperation.Christopher Woodard - 2007 - Routledge.
    This book is about fundamental questions in normative ethics. It begins with the idea that we often respond to ethical theories according to how principled or pragmatic they are. It clarifies this contrast and then uses it to shed light on old debates in ethics, such as debates about the rival merits of consequentialist and deontological views. Using the idea that principled views seem most appealing in dilemmas of acquiescence, it goes on to develop a novel theory of pattern-based reasons. (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   10 citations  
  48. added 2016-04-10
    Review of Brad Hooker: Ideal Code, Real World. [REVIEW]Erik Carlson - 2001 - Theoria 67 (3):268-272.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  49. added 2016-04-10
    Brad Hooker, Ideal Code, Real World.R. Audi - 2001 - Utilitas 13 (3):357-359.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  50. added 2016-04-10
    Act- Vs. Rule-Utilitarianism.Royal Eugene Bales - 1968 - Dissertation, Stanford University
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
1 — 50 / 138