To begin with, the utilitarian version of consequentialism is delineated and defended by means of a conceptual device dubbed by the author as the Consequentialist Continuum. But what matters for a utilitarian analysis is the relative net outcome. I am not a scientist. The discussion centers on a critical examination of consequentialism, the view that the rightness or wrongness of an action is determined solely by its consequences. Hence they could never be compared to those of the other option s , equally unknowable and, a fortiori, unassessable; hence there could never be a utilitarian calculation; hence there could never be a moral judgment or decision based on them.
Therefore even if we were to accept the analysis, it would not necessarily show a significant difference between the recommendations of the two theories in general. Does it not undermine practical reason as well? It seems to me that asserting psychological egoism fails to answer this question. Only Foreseeable Outcomes Matter Ah! According to this characterization of ethics, our deepest intuitions about right and wrong are rooted in our evolutionary development. Sports teams are like this. I know why I was put here and why everything exists. Thus, Kantianism errs in taking the rules as fundamental and hence exceptionless. Indeed, is not philosophy in the very business of examining assumptions? I think the answer can only be: By their lights, yet, but in fact, no.
Finally, Marks employs the notion of a Consequentialist Illusion to explain utilitarianismOs hold on our moral intuitions, while developing a form of Consequentialist Kantianism to address them. I argue that any agreement of nonconsequentialist ethical recommendations with consequentialist ones should not surprise us since any prima-facie plausible ethical theory will naturally conform to our considered ethical intuitions about particular cases. Railton 1984 speaks approvingly of this strategy, although he does not commit himself to rule-utilitarianism. In other words, I accept as a meta-ethical principle that an ethical theory is, in the first instance, about justification rather than explanation; for example, I want to know why stealing is wrong when it is wrong rather than why certain people think that stealing is wrong or are motivated not to steal and others not. Altruism as a motivation could still be important as an ethical strategy, as was suggested in Chapter 1. When I think about my own life and key events that have shaped my fate, I feel completely at a loss to decide whether things have turned out for the best. Without turning this into a theological treatise, I will just remark that there seem to me to be grounds for an ethical interpretation of these supposed named individuals as placeholders for everyone.
Second: While the above remarks might seem to highlight the inadequacy of philosophy as a method of inquiry, in fact I think they show the power of philosophy. The only things denied by amorality to Singer, Regan and Francione are these: some presumed objective truth or categorical imperative that requires everyone to leave off using or abusing other animals, and the attribution of wrong-doing or evil to those people who do not leave off doing those things. This is because the belief in objective morality does not guarantee that one will subscribe to any particular moral theory. But the theory is not so easily dismissed. I do not think I have wasted it. For Korsgaard it is not enough that things matter to a being, but that the being matter to itself; furthermore, it must also be deemed considerable by a being that is capable of doing such a thing, which on this planet may be limited to human beings, who have the requisite rationality and freedom for such a cognitive stepping-back and acting on it. Actually several, but I will consider the one I think most people would find most plausible prima facie.
Indeed, the utility of pondering these theories lies precisely in the appreciation of their inadequacy, their lack of theoretical appeal. It is a mistake, but an interesting one. This lands us in the realm of psychology, to which I had promised to return. Who could argue with counsel like that? The ethical egoist has a reply, however. But that is itself a single and simple assertion, is it not? Let me only begin to count the ways. It seems to me that asserting psychological egoism fails to answer this question. It is hard for me to see how this could be a rational practice, a fortiori how it could be an ethical one.
Thus, the altruism is non-reciprocal, one-way; the other The Consequentialist Continuum 23 spouse is supposed to be an egoist. In: Hard Atheism and the Ethics of Desire. What if the purpose of the martyrdom were to help the religion increase its power in the local region, for example, by inspiring admiration for the martyrs and instilling resentment against their persecutors? After all, the question before us is not just whether ethicizing is or might be useful, since, for example, it could be quite useful in providing ethicists with a living! The Count of Monte Cristo devoted himself over a period of decades to devising and carrying out a meticulous plan of revenge. What would be an example of this kind of ethics? To begin with, the utilitarian version of consequentialism is delineated and defended by means of a conceptual device dubbed by the author as the Consequentialist Continuum. Kantianism, by contrast, claims that the core of ethics is to treat all persons? One might even believe one was making a genuine sacrifice and yet be doing the right thing by egoist lights, according to my argument of the preceding chapter, since a thoroughgoingly altruistic motivation could be just the ticket to personal happiness in the long term.
The point is that I do not simply discount the assassin or even her concerns but show my respect for her by weighing hers in the balance, even though I may ultimately reject them and even try to frustrate them. But if there is to be any division at all between the public and the personal, the line must be drawn somewhere. As a result, questioning and clarifying become second nature. In the subsequent discussion I will sidestep or step over as I amble up the continuum all of the altruistic theories for this reason: their rationale looks mysterious. More simply, one could set up a single alternative, for example, not driving downtown. The papers then move beyond Kant himself to his wider influence and to critics of his work, including Hegel, the British Idealists, and the Danish philosopher and theologian K. This is a reversal of a well-known fallacy of reasoning known as obscurum per obscurius, by which something obscure is explained by reference to something even more obscure.
Some ethicists argue that theory or theorizing is inessential or even counterproductive to the understanding of ethicality. It does have an empirical sense, according to which the way people usually behave constitutes a norm. This volume treats the consequentialist challenge to Kantian ethics in several novel ways. The consequentialist would say that we owe her an explanation for such a powerful phenomenon if we consider it to be illusory. And it is also another reason for my opposition to moralism.
Marks argues that at the very least, a moralist would have little to complain about in an amoral world, and at best we might hope for a world that was more to our liking overall. A moralist could be a utilitarian or a deontologist or an egoist or a virtue theorist or a feminist or whatever. It would seem to follow that ethical egoism must be true by default because any alternative ethics would be premised upon our being something that we are not. When the victims of Hitler cry out to us, when the animals in factory farms cry out to us, there is something quite natural in us that will respond other things equal. Thus it is another glorious but failed empiricist project, on a par with the attempt to construct all human experience out of sense-data, e. What I will do in this column is briefly review the case, and also discuss an omission from the book.