- 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
The focus of this chapter is public policy and consequentialism, especially issues that arise in connection with the environment—that is, the natural world, including nonhuman animals. We integrate some of the existing literature on environmental economics, welfare economics, and policy with the literature on environmental values and philosophy. The emphasis on environmental policy is motivated by the fact that it is arguably the most philosophically interesting and challenging application of consequentialism to policy, as it includes all the challenges of valuing the distribution of human wealth and power, and it has the further challenge of putting these consequences on the same scale as consequences for human health, nonhuman animals, and nature. We suggest that standard methods of (economic) policy analysis provide a good approximation of correct welfarist analysis, except that they must be supplemented with methods for valuing animal well-being and tradeoffs with human well-being. We then provide the needed methods.
Mark Budolfson is Assistant Professor in Population-Level Bioethics, Philosophy, and Environmental Health Sciences at Rutgers University. He works on issues in philosophy, politics, and economics. Current research includes global ethics and international institutions, population-level bioethics, sustainable development and climate change economics, and reasons for action in collective action situations.
Dean Spears is an economic demographer and development economist. His research areas include the health, growth, and survival of children in developing countries and population dimensions of social well-being. Dean is Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin, is a visiting economist at the Economics and Planning Unit of the Indian Statistical Institute in Delhi, is a founding Executive Director of r.i.c.e. (a nonprofit that works for children’s health in India), and is an affiliate of IZA, of the Institute for Futures Studies, and of the Climate Futures Initiative at Princeton University. With Diane Coffey, he is a coauthor of the book Where India Goes: Abandoned Toilets, Stunted Development, and the Costs of Caste (2017); he is the author of Air: Pollution, Climate Change, and India’s Choice between Policy and Pretence (2019). His research is supported by an NIH Population Scientist career grant.
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