Consequentialism and the Agent’s Point of View

Ethics 132 (4):787-816 (2022)
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Abstract

I propose and defend a novel view called “de se consequentialism,” which is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it demonstrates—contra Doug Portmore, Mark Schroeder, Campbell Brown, and Michael Smith, among others—that agent-neutral consequentialism is consistent with agent-centered constraints. Second, it clarifies the nature of agent-centered constraints, thereby meriting attention from even dedicated nonconsequentialists. Scrutiny reveals that moral theories in general, whether consequentialist or not, incorporate constraints by assessing states in a first-personal guise. Consequently, de se consequentialism enacts constraints through the very same feature that nonconsequentialist theories do.

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Nathan Robert Howard
Texas A&M University

Citations of this work

Consequentializing.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
Attitudes de dicto and de se.David Lewis - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.
Alienation, consequentialism, and the demands of morality.Peter Railton - 1984 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 13 (2):134-171.

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