Consequentialism and the Doing-Allowing Distinction

Utilitas 14 (1):96 (2002)
This paper takes a closer look at the incompatibility thesis, namely the claim that consequentialism is incompatible with accepting the moral relevance of the doing-allowing distinction. I examine two attempts to reject the incompatibility thesis, the first by Samuel Scheffler and the second by Frances Kamm. I argue that both attempts fail to provide an adequate ground for rejecting the incompatibility thesis. I then put forward an account of what I take to be at stake in accepting or rejecting the incompatibility thesis, namely the underlying conception of responsibility. There are, I contend, two relevant conceptions of responsibility, the globalist and the localist. In order for the compatibilist argument to go through, the globalist conception must be adopted. I aim to provide a formulation and defence of the dependency of the compatibilist view on the globalist conception of responsibility. I will not, however, argue for one conception of responsibility over the other
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DOI 10.1017/S0953820800003411
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