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date: 04 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

I argue that a theory is consequentialist if and only if it is, in the important respects, sufficiently similar to classical utilitarianism. Unfortunately, though, philosophers can’t seem to agree on what the important respects are. So there is no one way that the term “consequentialism” is used, but only several different ways that it’s used by various sets of philosophers with different views about what’s most important about classical utilitarianism. But if, like many philosophers, we accept that what’s most important about classical utilitarianism is that it takes the deontic statuses of actions to be a function of how various possible outcomes rank, then we can, I show, reconcile consequentialism with deontology. And I explore whether this ability to be reconciled with other theories, such as deontology, undermines the importance of the consequentialism/nonconsequentialism distinction. I then end by summarizing each of this anthology’s four parts and the issues that are explored in their corresponding chapters.

Keywords: agent-relative, consequentialism, constraints, Kantianism, deontology, utilitarianism

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