Advertisement

Philosophical Studies

, Volume 174, Issue 6, pp 1475–1497 | Cite as

Consequentializing and its consequences

  • S. Andrew SchroederEmail author
Article

Abstract

Recently, a number of philosophers have argued that we can and should “consequentialize” non-consequentialist moral theories, putting them into a consequentialist framework. I argue that these philosophers, usually treated as a group, in fact offer three separate arguments, two of which are incompatible. I show that none represent significant threats to a committed non-consequentialist, and that the literature has suffered due to a failure to distinguish these arguments. I conclude by showing that the failure of the consequentializers’ arguments has implications for disciplines, such as economics, logic, decision theory, and linguistics, which sometimes use a consequentialist structure to represent non-consequentialist ethical theories.

Keywords

Consequentialize Consequentialism Non-consequentialism Deontology Dreier Portmore Cost-effectiveness analysis 

Notes

Acknowledgments

For valuable comments on earlier drafts of this paper, I would like to thank Paul Hurley, Seth Lazar, Adrienne Martin, Alex Rajczi, and the participants at the Bechtel Workshop in Moral and Political Philosophy, held at the University of Pittsburgh. For earlier conversations on related issues, I thank Jamie Dreier and Paul McNamara.

References

  1. Adler, M. D., & Posner, E. A. (2006). New foundations of cost-benefit analysis. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Audi, R. (2005). The ethical significance of cost-benefit analysis in business and the professions. Business & Professional Ethics Journal, 24, 3–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brock, D. (2004). Ethical issues in the use of cost effectiveness analysis for the prioritisation of health care resources. In S. Anand, F. Peter, & A. Sen (Eds.), Public health, ethics, and equity (pp. 201–224). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Brown, C. (2011). Consequentialize this. Ethics, 121, 749–771.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bykvist, K. (1996). Utilitarian deontologies? On preference utilitarianism and agent-relative value. Theoria, 62, 124–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Colyvan, M., Cox, D., & Steele, K. (2010). Modelling the moral dimensions of decisions. Nous, 44, 503–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dreier, J. (1993). Structures of normative theories. The Monist, 76, 22–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dreier, J. (2011). In defense of consequentializing. In M. Timmons (Ed.), Oxford studies in normative ethics (Vol. 1, pp. 97–119). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dworkin, R. (1978). Taking rights seriously. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Foot, P. (1985). Utilitarianism and the virtues. Mind, 94, 196–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Garcia, J. L. A. (1986). Evaluator relativity and the theory of value. Mind, 95, 242–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hansson, S. O. (2007). Philosophical problems in cost-benefit analysis. Economics and Philosophy, 23, 163–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hubin, D. (1994). The moral justification of benefit/cost analysis. Economics and Philosophy, 10, 169–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hurley, P. (2013). Consequentializing and deontologizing: Clogging the consequentialist vacuum. In M. Timmons (Ed.), Oxford studies in normative ethics (Vol. 3, pp. 124–153). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Hurley, P. (2014). Comments on Douglas Portmore’s commonsense consequentialism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 88, 225–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kamm, F. M. (1996). Morality, mortality: Volume II. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Kamm, F. M. (2000). Nonconsequentialism. In H. LaFollette (Ed.), The Blackwell guide to ethical theory (pp. 205–226). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  18. Kelman, S. (1981). Cost-benefit analysis: An ethical critique. AEI Journal of Government and Society Regulation, 1981, 33–40.Google Scholar
  19. Louise, J. (2004). Relativity of value and the consequentialist umbrella. Philosophical Quarterly, 54, 518–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lowry, R., & Peterson, M. (2011). Cost-benefit analysis and non-utilitarian ethics. Politics, Philosophy & Economics, 11, 258–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. MacIntyre, A. (1992). Utilitarianism and cost-benefit analysis: An essay on the relevance of moral philosophy to bureaucratic theory. In J. Gilroy & M. Wade (Eds.), The moral dimensions of public policy choice (pp. 179–194). Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  22. McNamara, P. (1996a). Doing well enough: Toward a logic for common-sense morality. Studia Logica, 57, 167–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McNamara, P. (1996b). Making room for going beyond the call. Mind, 105, 415–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. McNamara, P. (2011). Supererogation, inside and out: Toward and adequate scheme for common sense morality. In M. Timmons (Ed.), Oxford studies in normative ethics (Vol. 1, pp. 202–235). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Menzel, P., Gold, M., Nord, E., Pinto-Prades, J., Richardson, J., & Ubel, P. (1999). Toward a broader view of values in cost-effectiveness analysis of health. Hastings Center Report, 29, 7–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Murray, C. (1996). Rethinking DALYs. In C. Murray & A. Lopez (Eds.), The global burden of disease (pp. 1–98). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Nagel, T. (1986). The view from nowhere. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Nord, E. (1999). Cost-value analysis in health care: Making sense out of QALYs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nozick, R. (1974). Anarchy, state, and utopia. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  30. Peterson, M. (2010). A royal road to consequentialism? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 13, 153–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Peterson, M. (2013). The dimensions of consequentialism: Ethics, equality, and risk. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Portmore, D. (2005). Combining teleological ethics with evaluator relativism: A promising result. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 86, 95–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Portmore, D. (2007). Consequentializing moral theories. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 88, 39–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Portmore, D. (2009). Consequentializing. Philosophy Compass, 4, 329–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Portmore, D. (2011). Commonsense consequentialism: Wherein morality meets rationality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Portmore, D. (2014). Replies to Gert, Hurley, and Tenenbaum. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 88, 241–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sachs, B. (2010). Consequentialism’s double-edged Sword. Utilitas, 22, 258–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Schroeder, M. (2007). Teleology, agent-relative value, and ‘good’. Ethics, 117, 265–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sen, A. (1983). Evaluator relativity and consequential evaluation. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 12, 113–132.Google Scholar
  40. Smith, M. (2003). Neutral and relative value after moore. Ethics, 113, 576–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Stiglitz, J. E., Sen, A., & Fitoussi, J. (2010). Mis-measuring our lives: Why GDP doesn’t add up. New York: The New Press.Google Scholar
  42. Suikkanen, J. (2009). Consequentialism, constraints and the good-relative-to: A reply to Mark Schroeder. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy. http://www.jesp.org/articles/download/Consequentialism.pdf.
  43. Tenenbaum, S. (2014). The Perils of earnest consequentializing. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 88, 233–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Williams, A. (1997). Intergenerational equity: An exploration of the ‘fair innings’ argument. Health Economics, 6, 117–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Woodard, C. (2013). The common structure of Kantianism and act-utilitarianism. Utilitas, 25, 246–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zamir, E., & Medina, B. (2008). Law, economics, and morality: Integrating moral constraints with economics analysis of law. California Law Review, 96, 323–392.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyClaremont McKenna CollegeClaremontUSA

Personalised recommendations