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date: 04 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

There are circumstances—involving conjunctive acts at a time or over time or the conjunction of acts of different agents—that threaten act consequentialism with self-defeat. There are also variants of act consequentialism—including consequentialist generalization, generalized act consequentialism, multiple-act consequentialism, cooperative consequentialism, and modally robust act consequentialism—that promise a more plausible treatment of circumstances in which cooperation is important than traditional act consequentialism. Links among these issues are explored. Attention to the nature of the normative conflicts occasioned by consequentialist assessment of actions can help reveal an important and useful variety of forms of, and resources for, act consequentialism. Its structure is not as simple as it may initially seem.

Keywords: self-defeat, the principle of moral harmony, act consequentialism, cooperation, group act, consequentialist generalization, generalized act consequentialism, multiple-act consequentialism, cooperative consequentialism

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