The Limits of Rule Consequentialism

Tim Mulgan

in Future People

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780199282203
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603624 | DOI:
 						The Limits of Rule Consequentialism

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This chapter focuses on a single problem for Rule Consequentialism: whether it makes unreasonable demands under partial compliance. It recaps the arguments of The Demands of Consequentialism, and then asks if an intergenerational perspective make Rule Consequentialism more or less palatable under partial compliance. It concludes that while the demands of Rule Consequentialism are moderate and plausible in some areas, they are extreme and somewhat implausible in others, and that the comparative stringency of Rule Consequentialism’s demands in different areas is often very peculiar. Rule Consequentialism cannot be a plausible complete moral theory. So long as it presents itself as a complete theory, its accounts of reproduction and future generations must themselves be unreasonably demanding.

Keywords: Rule Consequentialism; partial compliance; famine relief; public policy

Chapter.  17363 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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