Consequentializing Commonsense Morality

Douglas W. Portmore

in Commonsense Consequentialism

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199794539
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919260 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Moral Theory

Consequentializing Commonsense Morality

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The chapter argues for the deontic equivalent thesis: the thesis that, for any plausible nonconsequentialist moral theory, there is a consequentialist counterpart theory that is extensionally equivalent to it. It is argued that, from this thesis, we can infer that consequentialism can accommodate all the essential features of commonsense morality (e.g., supererogatory acts, special obligations, agent-centered options, agent-centered restrictions, etc.), but that we cannot infer from this thesis, as some have claimed, that we are all consequentialists. Lastly, it is argued that consequentialism can do a better job of accounting for certain commonsense moral intuitions than even victim-focused deontology can.

Keywords: consequentializing; supererogatory acts; moral dilemmas; special obligations; agent-centered options; agent-centered restrictions; deontic equivalence

Chapter.  18080 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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