Beyond Consequentialism

Paperback | November 1, 2011

byPaul Hurley

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Consequentialism, the theory that morality requires us to promote the best overall outcome, is the default alternative in contemporary moral philosophy, and is highly influential in public discourses beyond academic philosophy. Paul Hurley argues that current discussions of the challengeconsequentialism tend to overlook a fundamental challenge to consequentialism. The standard consequentialist account of the content of morality, he argues, cannot be reconciled to the authoritativeness of moral standards for rational agents. If rational agents typically have decisive reasons to dowhat morality requires, then consequentialism cannot be the correct account of moral standards. Hurley builds upon this challenge to argue that the consequentialist case for grounding the impartial evaluation of actions in the impartial evaluation of outcomes is built upon a set of subtle and mutually reinforcing mistakes. Through exposing these mistakes and misappropriations, he underminesconsequentialist arguments against alternative approaches that recognize a conception of impartiality appropriate to the evaluation of actions which is distinct from the impartiality appropriate to the evaluation of outcomes. A moral theory that recognizes a fundamental role for such a distinctconception of impartiality can account for the rational authority of moral standards, but does so, Hurley argues, by taking morality beyond consequentialism in both its standard and non-standard forms.

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Consequentialism, the theory that morality requires us to promote the best overall outcome, is the default alternative in contemporary moral philosophy, and is highly influential in public discourses beyond academic philosophy. Paul Hurley argues that current discussions of the challengeconsequentialism tend to overlook a fundamental c...

Paul Hurley is Professor of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College, California.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 6.14 × 9.21 × 0.01 inPublished:November 1, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199698430

ISBN - 13:9780199698431

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. The Challenge to Consequentialism: A Troubling Normative Triad3. The Demandingness Objection: Too Demanding, Or Not Demanding at All?4. Harnessing Williams to Sharpen the Challenge to Consequentialism5. Deflating the Challenge iof Consequentialism6. From Impersonality to Interpersonality: Alternative Conceptions of Impartiality7. Impartial Evaluation and Rational Authority8. Generalizing to Other Forms of Consequentialism

Editorial Reviews

"This really is an impressive book. It provides the most rigorous argument that I have seen so far for the attractive and increasingly popular suggestion that, by developing the idea of an interpersonal point of view, we get better accounts of both the content and the authority of moralitythan anything the consequentialists can offer." --Robert H. Myers, Ethics