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Prohibitions and special obligations 7. Act-consequentialism 8. Rule-consequentialism and doing good for the world 9. Help with practical problems. Notes First published in paperback Includes bibliographical references p. Also available online. View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links Set up My libraries How do I set up "My libraries"? Australian National University Library. Open to the public.

Flinders University Central Library. Open to the public ; La Trobe University Library. Borchardt Library, Melbourne Bundoora Campus. Moore Theological College Library. The University of Melbourne Library. University of Sydney Library. University of Western Australia Library. University of Wollongong Library. In reaction to a third group of their criticisms, however, I have to accept that Arneson and McIntyre simply have quite different intuitions from mine, such that the prospects of agreement between the three of us are dim.

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An international line-up of fourteen distinguished philosophers present new essays on topics relating to well-being and morality, prominent themes in contemporary ethics and particularly in the work of James Griffin, White's Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford, in whose honour this volume has been produced.

Professor Griffin offers a fascinating development of his own thinking on these topics in his replies to the essays. This paper employs and defends where needed a familiar four-part methodology for assessing moral theories. This methodology makes the most popular kind of moral pluralism--here called Ross-style pluralism--look extremely attractive.

The paper contends, however, that, if rule-consequentialism's implications match our considered moral convictions as well as Ross-style pluralism's implications do, the methodology makes rule-consequentialism look even more attractive than Ross-style pluralism. The paper then attacks two arguments recently put forward in defence of Ross-style pluralism. One of these arguments is that The other argument is that no such theory is plausible in light of the fact that our moral ideas come from disparate historical sources.

This chapter surveys the debate between philosophers who claim that all practical rationality is procedural and philosophers who claim that some practical rationality is substantive. Moral Rationality in Meta-Ethics. Reasons and Rationality in Philosophy of Action. Thinking about Reasons collects fourteen new essays on ethics and the philosophy of action, inspired by the work of Jonathan Dancy—one of his generation's most influential moral philosophers.

The main body of this paper begins by identifying the most important doctrines associated with the term, at least as the term is used by Jonathan Dancy, on whose work I will focus. I then discuss whether holism in the theory of reasons supports moral particularism, and I call into question the thesis that particular judgements have epistemological priority over general principles.

I will suggest that the distinction is unnecessary, and I will argue that, even if there is such a distinction, it does not entail moral particularism.

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Brad Hooker, Ideal Code, Real World: A Rule-Consequentialist Theory of Morality

Moral Generalizations in Meta-Ethics. What determines whether an action is right or wrong? Morality, Rules, and Consequences: A Critical Reader explores for students and researchers the relationship between consequentialist theory and moral rules. Most of the chapters focus on rule consequentialism or on the distinction between act and rule versions of consequentialism. Contributors, among them the leading philosophers in the discipline, suggest ways of assessing whether rule consequentialism could be a satisfactory moral theory. These essays, all of which are previously unpublished, provide students in This chapter discusses psychological egoism, ethical egoism, rational egoism, partiality, and impartiality.

Partiality involves assigning more importance to the welfare or will of some individuals or groups than to the welfare or will of others. Egoism is an extreme form of partiality in that it gives overriding importance to the welfare of just one individual. While there are different kinds of impartiality, the kind that juxtaposes with egoism and partiality is impartiality towards the welfare or will of each.

Some things aren't what their names suggest. This is true of rubber ducks, stool pigeons, clay pigeons, hot dogs, and clothes horses. Howard-Snyder thinks rule-consequentialism is a form of deontology, not a form of consequentialism.

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This thought is understandable: many recent definitions of consequentialism are such as to invite it. Thinking rule-consequentialism inferior to act-consequentialism, many philosophers, when discussing consequentialism, have had act-consequentialism Having just one kind of consequentialism in mind has led them to offer definitions of consequentialism that are really definitions of just act-consequentialism. My paper discusses three different possible definitions of consequentialism and defends one that does justice to rule-consequentialism's family membership.

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Most of us believe morality requires us to help the desperately needy. But most of us also believe morality doesn't require us to make enormous sacrifices in order to help people who have no special connection with us. Such self-sacrifice is of course praiseworthy, but it isn't morally mandatory.

Rule-consequentialism might seem to offer a plausible grounding for such beliefs. This paper replies to Mulgan's What are appropriate criteria for assessing a theory of morality? In Ideal Code, Real World, Brad Hooker begins by answering this question, and then argues for a rule-consequentialist theory. According to rule-consequentialism, acts should be assessed morally in terms of impartially justified rules, and rules are impartially justified if and only if the expected overall value of their general internalization is at least as great as for any alternative rules.

In the course of developing his rule-consequentialism, Hooker discusses impartiality, well-being, He also discusses the social contract theory of morality, act-consequentialism, and the question of which moral prohibitions and which duties to help others rule-consequentialism endorses. The last part of the book considers the implications of rule-consequentialism for some current controversies in practical ethics.

Legal Authority and Obligation in Philosophy of Law. Promises in Normative Ethics. Off-campus access. Using PhilPapers from home? Brad Hooker avoided this objection by not basing his form of rule-consequentialism on the ideal of maximizing the good. He writes:. The best argument for rule-consequentialism is that it does a better job than its rivals of matching and tying together our moral convictions, as well as offering us help with our moral disagreements and uncertainties.

Derek Parfit described Brad Hooker's book on rule-consequentialism Ideal Code, Real World as the "best statement and defence, so far, of one of the most important moral theories". Rule-consequentialism may offer a means to reconcile pure consequentialism with deontological , or rules-based ethics. The two-level approach involves engaging in critical reasoning and considering all the possible ramifications of one's actions before making an ethical decision, but reverting to generally reliable moral rules when one is not in a position to stand back and examine the dilemma as a whole.

In practice, this equates to adhering to rule consequentialism when one can only reason on an intuitive level, and to act consequentialism when in a position to stand back and reason on a more critical level.


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  • This position can be described as a reconciliation between act consequentialism — in which the morality of an action is determined by that action's effects — and rule consequentialism — in which moral behavior is derived from following rules that lead to positive outcomes. The two-level approach to consequentialism is most often associated with R. Hare and Peter Singer. Another consequentialist version is motive consequentialism which looks at whether the state of affairs that results from the motive to choose an action is better or at least as good as each of the alternative state of affairs that would have resulted from alternative actions.

    This version gives relevance to the motive of an act and links it to its consequences. An act can therefore not be wrong if the decision to act was based on a right motive. A possible inference is, that one can not be blamed for mistaken judgments if the motivation was to do good. Most consequentialist theories focus on promoting some sort of good consequences. However, negative utilitarianism lays out a consequentialist theory that focuses solely on minimizing bad consequences.

    One major difference between these two approaches is the agent's responsibility. Positive consequentialism demands that we bring about good states of affairs, whereas negative consequentialism requires that we avoid bad ones. Stronger versions of negative consequentialism will require active intervention to prevent bad and ameliorate existing harm. In weaker versions, simple forbearance from acts tending to harm others is sufficient. An example of this is the Slippery Slope Argument, which encourages others to avoid a specified act on the grounds that it may ultimately lead to undesirable consequences.

    Ideal Code, Real World (book) | Utilitarianism Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

    Often "negative" consequentialist theories assert that reducing suffering is more important than increasing pleasure. Karl Popper , for example, claimed "…from the moral point of view, pain cannot be outweighed by pleasure When considering a theory of justice, negative consequentialists may use a statewide or global-reaching principle: the reduction of suffering for the disadvantaged is more valuable than increased pleasure for the affluent or luxurious. Teleological ethics Greek telos, "end"; logos, "science" is an ethical theory that holds that the ends or consequences of an act determine whether an act is good or evil.

    Teleological theories are often discussed in opposition to deontological ethical theories, which hold that acts themselves are inherently good or evil, regardless of the consequences of acts. Teleological theories differ on the nature of the end that actions ought to promote. Eudaemonist theories Greek eudaimonia, "happiness" hold that the goal of ethics consists in some function or activity appropriate to man as a human being, and thus tend to emphasize the cultivation of virtue or excellence in the agent as the end of all action.

    These could be the classical virtues— courage , temperance , justice , and wisdom —that promoted the Greek ideal of man as the "rational animal", or the theological virtues— faith , hope , and love —that distinguished the Christian ideal of man as a being created in the image of God. Utilitarian-type theories hold that the end consists in an experience or feeling produced by the action.

    Hedonism , for example, teaches that this feeling is pleasure—either one's own, as in egoism the 17th-century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes , or everyone's, as in universalistic hedonism, or utilitarianism the 19th-century English philosophers Jeremy Bentham , John Stuart Mill , and Henry Sidgwick , with its formula of the "greatest pleasure of the greatest number".

    Other utilitarian-type views include the claims that the end of action is survival and growth, as in evolutionary ethics the 19th-century English philosopher Herbert Spencer ; the experience of power, as in despotism ; satisfaction and adjustment, as in pragmatism 20th-century American philosophers Ralph Barton Perry and John Dewey ; and freedom, as in existentialism the 20th-century French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.

    The chief problem for eudaemonist theories is to show that leading a life of virtue will also be attended by happiness—by the winning of the goods regarded as the chief end of action. That Job should suffer and Socrates and Jesus die while the wicked prosper, then seems unjust. Eudaemonists generally reply that the universe is moral and that, in Socrates' words, "No evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death," or, in Jesus' words, "But he who endures to the end will be saved.

    Utilitarian theories, on the other hand, must answer the charge that ends do not justify the means. The problem arises in these theories because they tend to separate the achieved ends from the action by which these ends were produced. One implication of utilitarianism is that one's intention in performing an act may include all of its foreseen consequences.

    Short Lectures on Ethics: Consequentialist Rule Ethics - David R. Keller - Episode 6

    The goodness of the intention then reflects the balance of the good and evil of these consequences, with no limits imposed upon it by the nature of the act itself—even if it be, say, the breaking of a promise or the execution of an innocent man.