Noninstrumental Advantageousness

Richard Kraut

in Against Absolute Goodness

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199844463
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919550 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Moral Theory

Noninstrumental Advantageousness

Show Summary Details


This chapter discusses how some things are noninstrumentally good for individuals. Instrumental disadvantages and advantages inherit their disadvantageousness and advantageousness from things that are noninstrumentally disadvantageous and advantageous. That is a point that can easily be overlooked, because “good for,” “bad for,” “beneficial,” and so on are so often applied to mere means. If there is such a property as absolute goodness, then the things that are useful in producing whatever has that property can be called good. They are good not absolutely but as a means. But it would be a misuse of terms to say of them, for that reason alone, that they are beneficial or advantageous. If what they lead to is not good for anyone, and if what they hinder is not bad for anyone, they themselves cannot be good for anyone.

Keywords: noninstrumental goodness; good; advantages; disadvantages

Chapter.  1506 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.