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Historically, hedonistic utilitarianism is the paradigmatic example of a consequentialist moral theory. relieving a terminally ill patient's pain may also cause an effect one would normally be obliged to avoid, namely the patient's death: the Principle of Double Effect). In it, Douglas W. Portmore defends a version of consequentialism that both comports with our commonsense moral intuitions and shares with other consequentialist theories the same compelling teleological conception of practical reasons. 1. The "material wealth" of Mohist consequentialism refers to basic needs, like shelter and clothing; and "order" refers to Mozi's stance against warfare and violence, which he viewed as pointless and a threat to social stability. By rejecting the offer right away, she managed at least not to waste anyone's time. Moral rightness depends on [35] Such equal consideration does not necessarily imply identical treatment of humans and non-humans, any more than it necessarily implies identical treatment of all humans. […] It is also contrasted with virtue ethics, which focuses on the character of the agent rather than on the nature or consequences of the act (or omission) itself, and pragmatic ethics which treats morality like science: advancing socially over the course of many lifetimes, such that any moral criterion is subject to revision. Each of the different types of Consequentialism theories are each defined differently andhave many differences between them.Utilitarianism: So Utilitarianism say that you should maximize the most good for thelargest number. [38][39][40][41] Other consequentialists consider effects on the character of people involved in an action when assessing consequence. [11], State consequentialism, also known as Mohist consequentialism,[12] is an ethical theory that evaluates the moral worth of an action based on how much it contributes to the welfare of a state. Commonsense Consequentialism is a book about morality, rationality, and the interconnections between the two. However, one might fix on non-psychological goods as the relevant effect. [22], 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 other concern people express is the tendency of consequentialism to use ‘ends justify the means’ logic. In summary, Jeremy Bentham states that people are driven by their interests and their fears, but their interests take precedence over their fears; their interests are carried out in accordance with how people view the consequences that might be involved with their interests. This contrasts with the "acts and omissions doctrine", which is upheld by some medical ethicists and some religions: it asserts there is a significant moral distinction between acts and deliberate non-actions which lead to the same outcome. Thus, a morally right action is one that produces a good outcome or result, and the consequences of an action or rule generally outweigh all other considerations (i.e. He writes:[9]. Later in Max Weber, Gregersen, Hal B., and Lee Sailer. [26][31], Douglas W. Portmore has suggested that these and other problems of actualism and possibilism can be avoided by constraining what counts as a genuine alternative for the agent. "[10], It is the business of the benevolent man to seek to promote what is beneficial to the world and to eliminate what is harmful, and to provide a model for the world. Consequentialist theories that adopt this paradigm hold that right action is the action that will bring about the best consequences from this ideal observer's perspective. Still others have argued that Consequentialism fails to appropriately take into account the people affected by a particular action (e.g. Actualists assert that it is only relevant what the agent would actually do later for assessing the value of an alternative. Utilitarianism is one of a group of theories that maintain that the rightness or wrongness of an actio n depends on the action's consequences. Others have argued that Consequentialism is unable to explain adequately why a morally wrong action is morally wrong, and attempts to do so lead to absurdity, such as the example of an "obliging stranger" who agrees to be baked in an oven. Act-consequentialism. The phrase and concept of "the end justifies the means" are at least as old as the first century BC. John Stuart Mill 1806-1873 2. Often "negative" consequentialist theories assert that reducing suffering is more important than increasing pleasure. [30], One counterintuitive consequence of actualism is that agents can avoid moral obligations simply by having an imperfect moral character. These two approaches could be reconciled by acknowledging the tension between an agent's interests as an individual and as a member of various groups, and seeking to somehow optimize among all of these interests. At the very least, any moral theory needs to define the standpoint from which the goodness of the consequences are to be determined. Subscribe for free: Every Friday I send a short newsle… [52], Some consequentialists—most notably Peter Railton—have attempted to develop a form of consequentialism that acknowledges and avoids the objections raised by Williams. [12] According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Mohist consequentialism, dating back to the 5th century BCE, is the "world's earliest form of consequentialism, a remarkably sophisticated version based on a plurality of intrinsic goods taken as constitutive of human welfare. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. "[25] (While Popper is not a consequentialist per se, this is taken as a classic statement of negative utilitarianism.) Similarly, one might adopt an aesthetic consequentialism, in which the ultimate aim is to produce beauty. Individual moral agents do not know everything about their particular situations, and thus do not know all the possible consequences of their potential actions. More recently, Peter Singer has argued that it is unreasonable that we do not give equal consideration to the interests of animals as to those of human beings when we choose the way we are to treat them. For example, Philippa Foot argues that consequences in themselves have no ethical content, unless it has been provided by a virtue such as benevolence. Similarly, a consequentialist theory may aim at the maximization of a particular virtue or set of virtues. For example, that participating in a crime can matter, even if the crime would have been committed anyway, or would even have been worse, without the agent's participation. [2], It has been suggested that this article be, This section is about actualism and possibilism in ethics. a Consequentialist cannot really criticize human rights abuses in a war if they ultimately result in a better state of affairs). This version gives relevance to the motive of an act and links it to its consequences. [citation needed], One common tactic among consequentialists, particularly those committed to an altruistic (selfless) account of consequentialism, is to employ an ideal, neutral observer from which moral judgements can be made. Elizabeth Anscombe (1919 - 2001) has objected to Consequentialism on the grounds that it does not provide guidance in what one ought to do, since the rightness or wrongness of an action is determined based solely on the consequences it produces. Hedonism, on the other hand, says something is “good” if the consequence produces pleasure or avoids pain. A possible inference is, that one can not be blamed for mistaken judgments if the motivation was to do good.[23].

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