Is Rule-Consequentialism a Rubber Duck?

Analysis 54 (2):92 - 97 (1994)


Some things aren't what their names suggest. This is true of rubber ducks, stool pigeons, clay pigeons, hot dogs, and clothes horses. Frances Howard-Snyder's "Rule Consequentialism is a Rubber Duck" ("APQ", 30 (1993) 271-78) argues that the answer is Yes. Howard-Snyder thinks rule-consequentialism is a form of deontology, not a form of consequentialism. This thought is understandable: many recent definitions of consequentialism are such as to invite it. Thinking rule-consequentialism inferior to act-consequentialism, many philosophers, when discussing consequentialism, have had act-consequentialism in mind. Having just one kind of consequentialism in mind has led them to offer definitions of consequentialism that are really definitions of just act-consequentialism. My paper discusses three different possible definitions of consequentialism and defends one that does justice to rule-consequentialism's family membership

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Brad Hooker
University of Reading

References found in this work

The Human Good and the Ambitions of Consequentialism.James Griffin - 1992 - Social Philosophy and Policy 9 (2):118.
Rule Consequentialism Is a Rubber Duck.Frances Howard-Snyder - 1993 - American Philosophical Quarterly 30 (3):271 - 278.

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Citations of this work

Impartiality.Troy Jollimore - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
On the Incoherence Objection to Rule-Utilitarianism.Alex Rajczi - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (4):857-876.

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