Ordering the Right and the Good, Practically Speaking
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The Two Filters
A very natural and common method of decision-making in organizations – from firms to government – is to carefully examine the consequences of various courses of action or policies and weigh-up the advantages against the disadvantages and then choose that course of action or policy that maximizes the advantages. If the consequences are assigned a monetary value then the procedure is known as cost-benefit analysis. As a species of applied consequentialism, cost-benefit analysis suffers the known defects of such a normative theory. In particular it may override the fact that people have claims not to be maltreated in certain ways. That is, there are deontological reasons that limit what we are permitted to do, irrespective of the benefits of that action; and irrespective of whether that action is related to a personal project or public policy. An outcome that comes about due to inadmissible actions is not to be valued.
There are two basic work arounds for forms of applied...