Chapter

Consequence

Tony Fitzpatrick

in Applied ethics and social problems

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9781861348609
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301479 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861348609.003.0003
Consequence

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What value do consequences have to promote in order to be considered good? How is that value to be measured? Consequentialism states that what makes an action good or bad depends on the effects that action engenders. In response to these questions, the most famous school of consequentialism — utilitarianism — arises. This chapter reviews three criticisms of consequentialism. First is the ‘consequentialist dilemma’ with which utilitarians have spent much time wrestling. Second is the issue that consequentialism arguably leans towards ‘agent-neutrality’. Third is the objection that consequentialism does not respect the separateness of people. The chapter ends with a discussion on consequentialism and its relevance for, and approach to, applied ethics.

Keywords: consequentialism; consequentialist dilemma; good; actions; applied ethics; utilitarianism

Chapter.  6484 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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