Consequentialism and moral rationalism

Douglas W. Portmore

in Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 1

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199693269
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732058 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies In Normative Ethics

Consequentialism and moral rationalism

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This paper provides a presumptive argument in favor of moral rationalism: the view that agents can be morally required to do only what they have decisive reason to do, all things considered. The argument is based on the assumption that there is a conceptual connection between wrongdoing and blameworthiness. The paper argues that if we accept moral rationalism, we should reject all traditional versions of act-consequentialism (e.g., act-utilitarianism). It furthermore argues that the demandingness objection against traditional versions of act-consequentialism is best construed as a more general objection stemming from moral rationalism.

Keywords: blameworthiness; consequentialism; demandingness objection; moral rationalism; utilitarianism; wrongdoing

Chapter.  10419 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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