- 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
Consequentialist theories often neglect reasons for action. They offer theories of the rightness or the goodness of actions, or of virtue, but they typically do not include theories of reasons. However, consequentialists can give plausible accounts of reasons. This chapter examines some different ways in which such accounts might be developed, focusing on act consequentialism and rule consequentialism and on the relationship between reasons and rightness. It notes that adding claims about reasons to consequentialist theories may introduce a welcome kind of complexity, and in doing so it may help to make consequentialist approaches to ethics more appealing. For example, it may help consequentialists to explain the ideas of moral constraints and moral options.
Christopher Woodard is Professor of Moral and Political Philosophy at the University of Nottingham, UK, and President of the British Society for Ethical Theory. His research focuses on consequentialism (especially collective forms of consequentialism), well-being, and normative reasons for action. He has also written on other topics in moral and political philosophy, including egalitarianism, meaning in life, and the actualism-possibilism debate. He is the author of two books: Reasons, Patterns, and Cooperation (Routledge, 2008) and Taking Utilitarianism Seriously (Oxford University Press, 2019).
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