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date: 06 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter I examine various accounts of the relationship between consequentialism and moral responsibility. The first idea is that the only reason we have for praising and blaming, for holding responsible, is that it will produce good consequences. This view is widely derided, but a descendant, the view that our responsibility practices as a whole can be defended on consequentialist grounds, has been gaining popularity in recent years. I go on to look at the idea of blameless wrongdoing and give an account of how that might fit into to a consequentialist picture. Finally, I discuss the possibility that the direction of influence is the other way: that consequentialist ethical theories are constrained by theories of moral responsibility, and I discuss possible upshots of a responsibility constrained account of consequentialism.

Keywords: blame, blameworthiness, praise, praiseworthiness, responsibility, blameless wrongdoing, objective rightness, subjective rightness, prospectivism

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