Sahar Heydari Fard
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Jackson (1991) proposes an interpretation of consequentialism, namely, the Decision Theoretic Consequentialism (DTC), which provides a middle ground between internal and external criteria of rightness inspired by decision theory. According to DTC, a right decision either leads to the best outcomes (external element) or springs from right motivations (internal element). He raises an objection to fully external interpretations, like objective consequentialism (OC), which he claims that DTC can resolve. He argues that those interpretations are either too objective, which prevents them from giving guidance for action, or their guidance leads to wrong and blameworthy actions or decisions. I discuss how the emphasis on blameworthiness in DTC constraints its domain to merely the justification of decisions that relies on rationality to provide a justification criterion for moral decisions. I provide examples that support the possibility of rational but immoral decisions that are at odds with DTC’s prescription for right decisions. Moreover, I argue what I call the desire-luck problem for the external element of justification criterion leads to the same objection for DTC that Jackson raised for OC. Therefore, DTC, although successful in response to some objections, fails to provide a prescription for the right decision.
Keywords Decision Theory, Consequentialism, Moral Luck, Desires, Emotion, Rationality
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