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date: 06 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Consequentialism says that consequences settle what ought to be done. What does this imply for how we should decide, on some given occasion, what ought to be done in the light of our beliefs about the consequences of the actions available to us, our options? We explore the issues generated by the fact that typically there is substantial uncertainty about the consequences of the actions we need to choose between—we perforce must rely on the subjective probabilities of the possible outcomes of those actions. We distinguish objective “oughts” from expective “oughts” and note the complications that arise with compound actions—actions that have actions as parts.

Keywords: compound actions, consequentialism, expective oughts, Mill, objective oughts, Sidgwick, subjective probability

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