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date: 04 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The early utilitarians were strong champions for the equal treatment of women, yet contemporary feminists are some of consequentialism’s biggest critics. Arguing from a more generous account of what counts as consequentialist moral reasoning, this chapter identifies feminist criticisms of consequentialism and sees whether, and to what extent, feminism and consequentialism can be reconciled. It argues that a feminist version of consequentialism is possible and, regardless, that all feminist moral theories contain significant consequentialist elements which it would be a mistake to ignore. Finally, it suggests that all feminist approaches to ethics ought to accord some role to consequences and results, and therefore ought to contribute to debates and discussions within consequentialist ethics.

Keywords: feminism, consequentialism, relational ethics, utilitarianism, well-being, impartialism, desire theory, preferentism, perfectionism, Kantian deontology

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