A Derivation of Consequentialism

David Cummiskey

in Kantian Consequentialism

Published in print April 1996 | ISBN: 9780195094534
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833146 | DOI:
A Derivation of Consequentialism

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This chapter argues that consequentialism provides a natural and straightforward interpretation of the formula of the end‐in‐itself. We treat rational nature as an end, and not a mere means, by promoting, first, the conditions necessary for the flourishing of rational nature and, second, the conditions necessary for the realization of the permissible ends of others. Although it is commonplace to assume that deontological constraints treat humanity as an end‐in‐itself, in fact, Kant provides no argument at all for agent‐centered or agent‐relative constraints on the maximization of agent‐neutral value. Indeed, Kant's argument (developed in Ch. 4) for the conclusion that rational nature is an end‐in‐itself just as easily implies that we should maximize the realization of morally objective ends. We must thus look elsewhere in Kant's theory for the promised refutation of consequentialism.

Keywords: agent‐centered; agent‐neutral; agent‐relative; consequentialism; deontological; end‐in‐itself; ends; maximize; rational

Chapter.  10626 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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