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  1. Informed Altruism and Utilitarianism.Brian Rosebury - forthcoming - Social Theory and Practice.
    Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory that assigns value impartially to the well-being of each person. Informed Altruism, introduced in this paper, is an intentionalist theory that relegates both consequentialism and impartiality to subordinate roles. It identifies morally right or commendable actions as those motivated by a sufficiently informed intention to benefit and not harm others. An implication of the theory is that multiple agents may perform incompatible actions and yet each be acting rightly in a moral sense.
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  • Ross and the Particularism/Generalism Divide.Kristian Olsen - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (1):56-75.
    W. D. Ross is commonly considered to be a generalist about prima facie duty but a particularist about absolute duty. That is, many philosophers hold that Ross accepts that there are true moral principles involving prima facie duty but denies that there are any true moral principles involving absolute duty. I agree with the former claim: Ross surely accepts prima facie moral principles. However, in this paper, I challenge the latter claim. Ross, I argue, is no more a particularist about (...)
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  • Probabilism Today: Permissibility and Multi-Account Ethics.Jonathan Hill - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):235-250.
    In ethics, ?probabilism? refers to a position defended by a number of Catholic theologians, mainly in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They held that, when one is uncertain which of a range of actions is the right one to perform, it is permissible to perform any which has a good chance of being the right one?even if there is another which has a better chance. This paper considers the value of this position from the viewpoint of modern ethical philosophy. The (...)
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  • Consequentialism and Cluelessness.James Lenman - 2000 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 29 (4):342-370.
  • Moral Advice and Moral Theory.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 146 (3):349 - 359.
    Monists, pluralists, and particularists disagree about the structure of the best explanation of the rightness (wrongness) of actions. In this paper I argue that the availability of good moral advice gives us reason to prefer particularist theories and pluralist theories to monist theories. First, I identify two distinct roles of moral theorizing—explaining the rightness (wrongness) of actions, and providing moral advice—and I explain how these two roles are related. Next, I explain what monists, pluralists, and particularists disagree about. Finally, I (...)
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  • Veganism, Animal Welfare, and Causal Impotence.Samuel J. M. Kahn - 2020 - Journal of Animal Ethics 10 (2):161.
    Proponents of the utilitarian animal welfare argument (AWA) for veganism maintain that it is reasonable to expect that adopting a vegan diet will decrease animal suffering. In this paper I argue otherwise. I maintain that (i) there are plausible scenarios in which refraining from meat-consumption will not decrease animal suffering; (ii) the utilitarian AWA rests on a false dilemma; and (iii) there are no reasonable grounds for the expectation that adopting a vegan diet will decrease animal suffering. The paper is (...)
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  • Clues for Consequentialists.Joanna M. Burch-Brown - 2014 - Utilitas 26 (1):105-119.
    In an influential paper, James Lenman argues that consequentialism can provide no basis for ethical guidance, because we are irredeemably ignorant of most of the consequences of our actions. If our ignorance of distant consequences is great, he says, we can have little reason to recommend one action over another on consequentialist grounds. In this article, I show that for reasons to do with statistical theory, the cluelessness objection is too pessimistic. We have good reason to believe that certain patterns (...)
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  • ¿Consecuencias, de qué? Claves de la subsistencia del Utilitarismo.Francisco Lara - 2011 - Telos: Revista Iberoamericana de Estudios Utilitaristas 18 (1):105-125.
    Despite the strong criticisms to ethical utilitarianism, this theory has not succumbed and remains one of the most notorious. The main criticisms address to the consequentialist conception of right that underlies the theory. However,it has been such a conception of right that, at the same time, saved utilitarianism. The article set out the features and changes that, according to the author, are the causes to explain the subsistence of utilitarianism.
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  • Actual Utility, The Objection From Impracticality, and the Move to Expected Utility.Fred Feldman - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 129 (1):49-79.
    Utilitarians are attracted to the idea that an act is morally right iff it leads to the best outcome. But critics have pointed out that in many cases we cannot determine which of our alternatives in fact would lead to the best outcome. So we can’t use the classic principle to determine what we should do. It’s not “practical”; it’s not “action-guiding”. Some take this to be a serious objection to utilitarianism, since they think a moral theory ought to be (...)
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  • True and Useful: On the Structure of a Two Level Normative Theory.Fred Feldman - 2012 - Utilitas 24 (2):151-171.
    Act-utilitarianism and other theories in normative ethics confront the implementability problem: normal human agents, with normal human epistemic abilities, lack the information needed to use those theories directly for the selection of actions. Two Level Theories have been offered in reply. The theoretical level component states alleged necessary and sufficient conditions for moral rightness. That component is supposed to be true, but is not intended for practical use. It gives an account of objective obligation. The practical level component is offered (...)
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