Morality, Rules and Consequences: A Critical Reader

Overview

What determines whether an action is right or wrong? One appealing idea is that a moral code ought to contain a number of rules that tell people how to behave and that are simple and few enough to be easily learned. Another appealing idea is that the consequences of actions matter, often more than anything else. Rule consequentialism tries to weave these two ideas into a general theory of morality. This theory holds that morally wrong actions are the ones forbidden by rules whose acceptance would maximize the ...

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Overview

What determines whether an action is right or wrong? One appealing idea is that a moral code ought to contain a number of rules that tell people how to behave and that are simple and few enough to be easily learned. Another appealing idea is that the consequences of actions matter, often more than anything else. Rule consequentialism tries to weave these two ideas into a general theory of morality. This theory holds that morally wrong actions are the ones forbidden by rules whose acceptance would maximize the overall good. Morality, Rules, and Consequences: A Critical Reader explores for students and researchers the relationship between consequentialist theory and moral rules. Most of the chapters focus on rule consequentialism or on the distinction between act and rule versions of consequentialism. Contributors, among them the leading philosophers in the discipline, suggest ways of assessing whether rule consequentialism could be a satisfactory moral theory. These essays, all of which are previously unpublished, provide students in moral philosophy with essential material and ask key questions on just what the criteria for an adequate moral theory might be.

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Editorial Reviews

Paul Kelly
These essays provide the best available survey of rule consequentialism; they are original and of a very high standard. This book will be a major resource for moral philosophers and scholars of consequentialist ethics for some time to come.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742509702
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 7/28/2000
  • Edition number: 272
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Brad Hooker is professor of philosophy at the University of Reading. Elinor Mason is assistant professor of philosophy at Arizona State University. Dale E. Miller is assistant professor of philosophy at Old Dominion University.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Between Act and Rule: The Consequentialism of G. E. Moore Chapter 3 The Educational Equivalence of Act and Rule Utilitarianism Chapter 4 Defending Rule Utilitarianism Chapter 5 Values, Obligations, and Saving Lives Chapter 6 The Moral Opacity of Utilitarianism Chapter 7 Global Consequentialism Chapter 8 Evaluative Focal Points Chapter 9 Hooker’s Use and Abuse of Reflective Equilibrium Chapter 10 Consequentialism and the Subversion of Pluralism Chapter 11 Why Rule Consequentialism is not Superior to Ross-style Pluralism Chapter 12 Ruling Out Rule Consequentialism Chapter 13 Reflective Equilibrium and Rule Consequentialism Chapter 14 Rule Consequentialism and the Value of Friendship

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