- 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
Morality seems to require us to attend to the good of others, but it does not require that we assign any importance to our own good. Standard forms of consequentialism thus appear vulnerable to the compulsory self-benefit objection: they require agents to benefit themselves when doing so is entailed by the requirement of maximizing overall impersonal good. Attempts to address this objection by appealing to ideally motivated consequentialist agents; by rejecting maximization; by leveraging consequentialist responses to the more familiar special relationships and demandingness objections; or by appealing to dual rankings of moral and all-things-considered reasons fall short of adequately answering this objection. A satisfactory response to the compulsory self-benefit objection is elusive because of consequentialism struggles to account for directed options (in this case, an option not to maximize one’s own good but not that of others) and for moral considerations that do not rest on the value of outcomes or states of affairs.
Michael Cholbi is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. He has published widely in ethical theory, practical ethics, and the philosophy of death and dying. His books include Suicide: The Philosophical Dimensions (Broadview, 2011), Understanding Kant’s Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2016), and Grief: A Philosophical Guide (Princeton University Press, expected 2021). He is the editor of several scholarly collections, including Immortality and the Philosophy of Death (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015), Procreation, Parenthood, and Educational Rights (Routledge, 2017), The Future of Work, Technology, and Basic Income (Routledge, 2019), and The Movement for Black Lives: Philosophical Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2020). He is the founder of the International Association for the Philosophy of Death and Dying and the coeditor of the textbook Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives (Routledge, 2020). His current research addresses paternalism, assisted dying, and topics related to work and labor.
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