Questions tagged [consequentialism]

Consequentialism is the ethical view that normative properties depend only on consequences.

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Is the existence of free will even important?

I don't see the existence/non-existence of free will as meaningful, ethically speaking. I'll explain what I mean. Let's say we have some agent, and the agent takes an action we think is bad. In a ...
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Are there any "right-now" versions of utilitarianism?

From what I can tell, the conclusive problems that normal utilitarianism faces are (A) the knowability problem, which is whether we could really know the total future impact of our actions, or (B) &...
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Russell and consequentialism

Bertrand Russell is a consequentialist (see here [1] and here [2]: “ Russell, like Moore was what is nowadays known as a consequentialist. He believed that the rightness or otherwise of an act is “in ...
Starckman's user avatar
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What's wrong with aretaic consequentialism?

What problems does it face, either as a classification of Buddhism or as meta ethical theory in general? Another approach [to how to classify Buddhist ethics] is aretaic consequentialism, an indirect ...
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Should a deontic logic informed by Rawlsian/Arendtian considerations use plural quantifiers?

In A Theory of Justice (1999 ed., pg. 24), Rawls says: The nature of the decision made by the ideal legislator is not, therefore, materially different from that of an entrepreneur deciding how to ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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Is Anscombe saying that we seem unable to move from 'unreasonable' to 'wrong' because we lack a contemporary understanding of 'virtue'

She refers to "psychology", and not being able to do "philosophy", of contemporary "systems" which, she complains, allows people to commit "injustice". https://...
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Is it possible to argue that the world is good from a theists perspective?

In all Abrahamic religions it is taught that everything that God does is for the good. Is it philosophically possible to argue that our universe is good without arguing from the perspective of a ...
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A consequentialist ethical dilemma?

An agency mandated to protect the community finds itself with an opportunity to conduct an action it believes will prevent a serious violent crime. The action must remain secret however, because the ...
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Categorical imperative vs. Consequentialism

i am new to philosophy. I am willing to understand where is the fine border between action-based and consequence-based morals: To my understanding a deontologist judges an action irrelative of the ...
Embrulla's user avatar
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Why can't consequentialist morality be "fixed" to accommodate family/friend considerations by enlarging the definition of happiness?

This is cited as one of the first objection to consequentialism here (https://www.britannica.com/topic/ethics-philosophy/Objections-to-consequentialism): "It is also claimed that, because ...
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Multidimensional utility

I'm an outsider to the philosophy community (I'm a mathematics PhD student), and I'm curious of whether the following critique has been addressed. During some superficial discussions I had on ...
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Is this moral philosophy consequentialist or deontological?

I'm working on an article in which I attempt to defend a "unified" theory of morality that takes insights from all the most popular moral theories in Western philosophy. The main principle ...
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What is a negative side of a utilitarian that focuses on what is expected to happen?

I know that we can divide utilitarians into two groups, those that focus on what was expected to happen and those that focus on what actually happened, and that most fall into the latter group. ...
ravi's user avatar
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Does rule utilitarianism fail to be effectively utilitarian?

So from what I understand, rule utilitarianism as a doctrine states that in order to maximize utility, we should evaluate actions based on rules that, if we accept them, would maximize utility in the ...
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Is there any act utilitarian philosopher?

According to the Greatest Happiness Principle […] the ultimate end […] is an existence exempt as far as possible from pain, and as rich as possible in enjoyments, both in point of quantity and quality;...
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Why should inclusivity and tolerance be constraint for a theory of decisional capacity?

The article Decision-Making Capacity (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) says that any successful theory of decisional capacity must turn out that most ordinary adults count as having capacity most ...
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Is consequentialism compatible with deontology and virtue ethics?

I know normative ethics is traditionally divided into 3 main branches: deontology, consequentialism, and virtue ethics. However, it seems to me that although they are most often presented as mutually ...
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Is there any consequentialist moral theory aside from utilitarianism?

I've noticed that when I read about ethics, "consequentialism" is sometimes described as a broader category of which utilitarianism is only an example, but sometimes the word seems to be ...
Ariel's user avatar
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How does Consequentialism handle uncertainty?

E.g. Suppose you are a Consequentialist faced with a variation of the trolley car problem. Your options are to save five people with a 20% likelihood or one person with a 100% likelihood. Which option,...
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In utilitarianism, is it better to give 1000 units of happiness to 1 person, or 100 units each to 10 people?

Assume that we have a way of quantifying happiness, and assume that all the people mentioned are equally well-off (not that the second point matters, I don't think). I know what the answer would be if ...
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What would a system that aims to maximize my own well-being be called?

I was wondering what a moral system that says things are good if they benefit me would be called. At first I was thinking of normative egoism, but it seems like normative egoism says that everyone ...
bigflick glick's user avatar
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Why do some deontological ethical frameworks seem to reduce to consequentialism?

I may have a defunct understanding of deontological ethics, but for some reason it seems to me that deontological ethics ultimately reduce to consequentialist theories. Take, for instance, Kant's ...
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Should we pursue knowledge for the sake of knowledge without considering the possible consequences? [closed]

For example, should Alfred Noble be blamed for suicide bombers as he created dynamite?
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I'm being drafted to the military but I have the option to refuse (legally), would it be immoral for me to serve? [closed]

I’m set to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces but I have the option to exempt from the military if I wish to. So I’m in a big moral dilemma on whether I should serve or not, I’m currently leaning ...
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Ethics of saying "this cause is a just cause, but now is not the time to fight for it"?

This question stems from a discussion I heard with regards to LGBTQ rights in Arab and Muslim communities: Arab progressive: LGBTQ rights are very important, and I respect LGBTQ people and think ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
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Is there a difference between utilitarianism and consequentialism?

In the Wikipedia entry about Anscombe, there is a quote where she juxtaposes traditional utilitarianism to 'consequentialism'. In what sense are they different and what are some points of divergence (...
yosimitsu kodanuri's user avatar
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Do virtue ethics, deontology, and consequentialism all just assume their sets of preferences?

The way I understand it, there are three main branches of ethics: Virtue Ethics: have a list of virtues to cultivate Deontology: obey a list of moral rules Consequentialism: the consequences of an ...
Sindyr's user avatar
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Question about Chidi from The Good Place...SPOILER

Spoilers for The Good Place under the spoiler tag below: I recently brought this up in an answer about fatalism, describing how free will would entail that we can predict the consequences of every ...
Cannabijoy's user avatar
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If purpose is just another side of cause, is everyone a consequentialist?

Purpose is just another side of cause. This is what I take as a premise. One might change "cause" by "reason" sometimes, both are related. Every non-randomistic process has some end after which this ...
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In trolleyology, why is the consequentialist choice invariant?

I've yet to read in trolleyologie any discussion of "sacrificing one to save many". Why is the consequentialist position seemingly always that way? edit: if you know of trolleyologie paper or ...
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Would it be ethical to take an open source database and put a new name on it?

Lets say a person takes a free open source database software, creates a new name for it such as superdb.com, hosts it at AWS and offers cloud database services to the public, using the new name. ...
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A 'Different' Theory of Ethics

Is there a specific term for the theory of ethics which evaluates an action by comparing it to alternatives? I am aware of Deontological and Consequentialist theories, but if I understand correctly, ...
Harry Alli's user avatar
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How would a preference utilitarian decide about cheating on something or lying about something?

I cannot find a reliable example of either. I want a practical everyday example of the choice of a preference utilitarian. Do preferences have weight? Is there some sort of "preference calculus"? ...
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Can one be pragmatic when dealing with ethnic groups without being racist?

Situation A: A terrorist attack has just occurred and out of the several possible suspects, one of them belongs to an ethnicity notorious for violent behavior and extremist beliefs. The authorities ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
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1 answer
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Which philosopher maintained that virtue ethics, deontology and consequentialism can be reduced to each other?

I remember skimming an article by a female philosopher that argued that each of the three major kinds of ethics can actually be expressed in terms of each other.
Nowhere man's user avatar
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Utilitarianism or Kantianism

Which of these two theories is more accepted or has more support in the field of ethics? It seems that Kantian ethics holds too stringent of rules and the the Universal Law of Formulation is ...
guest7's user avatar
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Is it morally permissible to jump the queue? Can we prove that it's morally permissible?

Is it morally permissible to jump the queue? The situation is: Ken wanted to take a mini-bus. When he reached the bus stop, he found that his friend was in the first position of the queue. His friend ...
Afser's user avatar
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A fallacious argument by the consequentialist, true or false?

A consequentialist asks give me an example of an action which is obviously good regardless of its consequences. You provide such an example (easily done). The consequentialist then argues that ...
dudududuudududu's user avatar
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Do consequentialists consider all warring nations to be terrorist states?

Terrorists actively target civilians. Warring nations realize that their actions will lead to collateral damage and yet they proceed with their actions anyways. Would a consequentialist then ...
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Can someone help me with some arguments and counter-arguments for consequentialism?

I might go into a lot of details but please bear with me. I am going to give an example of what I want to defend consequentialism against (i.e. I am arguing for consequentialism by first refuting ...
user276520's user avatar
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"To what extent would society break down without a moral code?"

Okay so I'm new here and I hope that this will abide by the rules and everything that the site dictates about questions. The title of the page is a question I formulated for a school assignment. I ...
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Are all ethical systems consequentialist?

Quoting Milton Friedman here "If the end does not justify the means, what does? But this easy answer does not dispose of the objection; it simply shows that the objection is not well put. To ...
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What are the arguments against consequentialism?

SEP was of little help, saying in its concluding paragraph that there still might be no adequate reason to deny consequentialism. We might have no reason either to deny consequentialism or to ...
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2 answers
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From a consequentialist perspective, how is using slaves to build buildings immoral?

The consequences I can think of: The slaves die The slave's death can affect their families financially etc.. The buildings benefit people for many years ahead by providing shelter To me it seems ...
J. Doe's user avatar
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Is Rand's Objectivism consequentialist/consequentially motivated?

Background (not looking to get into the weeds on this; just clarifying my viewpoint): It seems to me that the concept of a moral force or law is not really empirically supported. That is, statements ...
hunt's user avatar
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Why are deontological and virtue ethics not viewed as a subset of consequentialism?

Please help me get a better grasp on this topic. Roughly, it seems that deontological ethics are grounded in consequences of following roles while virtue ethics are grounded in consequences of acting ...
user897210's user avatar
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3 answers
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Is Peter Singer an act or preference utilitarian?

Does Singer not fit a specific type of utilitarianism? Just the same as, "The lines of distinction between metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics are often blurry." (iep.utm.edu/ethics) ...
adamaero's user avatar
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Has/can moral relativism be refuted and what are its implications for a true and useful ethical calculus?

It seems that the existence of moral relativism undermines the entire enterprise of ethics, as it devolves into a bunch of, albeit very smart, people abstractly formulating what is ultimately just a ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Temporally stable determination of value in consequentialism

If one is a consequentialist, one at least implicitly makes decisions based on how good or bad the consequences are. As such, you must implicitly have a function f that maps from the set of ...
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Is it ethical to block ads while still consuming content?

When browsing the web, many users block advertisements for a surprisingly wide variety of reasons. The site operator can send the user whatever they want, often a mix of the sought after content, good ...
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