Against satisficing consequentialism

Utilitas 18 (2):97-108 (2006)
Authors
Ben Bradley
Syracuse University
Abstract
The move to satisficing has been thought to help consequentialists avoid the problem of demandingness. But this is a mistake. In this article I formulate several versions of satisficing consequentialism. I show that every version is unacceptable, because every version permits agents to bring about a submaximal outcome in order to prevent a better outcome from obtaining. Some satisficers try to avoid this problem by incorporating a notion of personal sacrifice into the view. I show that these attempts are unsuccessful. I conclude that, if satisficing consequentialism is to remain a position worth considering, satisficers must show (i) that the move to satisficing is necessary to solve some problem, whether it be the demandingness problem or some other problem, and (ii) that there is a version of the view that does not permit the gratuitous prevention of goodness.
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DOI 10.1017/S0953820806001877
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The Composite Nature of Epistemic Justification.Paul Silva Jr - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (1).
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Consequentializing.Douglas W. Portmore - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (2):329-347.
Peter van Inwagen on Gratuitous Evil.Klaas J. Kraay - 2014 - Religious Studies 50 (2):1-18.

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