- Copyright Page
- Relativized Rankings
- Fault Lines in Ethical Theory
- Actualism, Possibilism, and the Nature of Consequentialism
- Consequentialism, Blame, and Moral Responsibility
- Consequentialism and Reasons for Action
- What Should a Consequentialist Promote?
- Understanding the Demandingness Objection
- Consequentialism and Partiality
- Must I Benefit Myself?
- Supererogation and Consequentialism
- Consequentialism and Promises
- Consequentialism, Ignorance, and Uncertainty
- Consequentialism and Action Guidingness
- Consequentialism and Indeterminacy
- Value Comparability
- Consequentialism, the Separateness of Persons, and Aggregation
- The Alienation Objection to Consequentialism
- Global Consequentialism
- The Role(s) of Rules in Consequentialist Ethics
- Consequentialism, Virtue, and Character
- Population Ethics, the Mere Addition Paradox, and the Structure of Consequentialism
- Deontic Pluralism and the Right Amount of Good
- Conflicts and Cooperation in Act Consequentialism
- The Science of Effective Altruism
- Effective Altruism: A Consequentialist Case Study
- Consequentialism and Nonhuman Animals
- Public Policy, Consequentialism, the Environment, and Nonhuman Animals
- The Love–Hate Relationship between Feminism and Consequentialism
- Act Consequentialism and the No-Difference Challenge
Abstract and Keywords
Consequentialism has often been criticized for its inability to accommodate the partiality toward intimates that most people regard as not only morally permissible but as morally required. Consequentialists have responded to this objection by attempting to show, in various ways, that such partiality can, in some sense, be justified by their theory. While the classical utilitarians such as Mill and Sidgwick claimed that adherence to rules of thumb advising partial behavior is a good strategy for maximizing value, in recent years, Peter Railton has defended what is known as indirect consequentialism. According to the indirect consequentialist, consequentialism is to be understood as a criterion of right action, not as a decision procedure for agents to employ in their practical reasoning. Thus, according to Railton and others, a good consequentialist agent will often act and be motivated in the partial manner supposedly advocated by common sense. I argue that consequentialist moves such as those taken by Railton et al. are misguided, because the real issue is not how much partial behavior a moral theory is able to justify but, rather, the way in which it justifies that partial behavior.
Diane Jeske is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Iowa, where she has taught since 1992. Her work has focused on the nature and significance of intimate relationships and how that significance ought to be reflected in moral theory. She is the author of Rationality and Moral Theory: How Intimacy Generates Reasons (Routledge, 2008), The Evil Within: Why We Need Moral Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2018), and Friendship and Social Media: A Philosophical Exploration (Routledge, 2019).
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