Ideal Code, Real World: A Rule-Consequentialist Theory of Morality

Paperback | May 12, 2004

byBrad Hooker

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What are appropriate criteria for assessing a theory of morality? In Ideal Code, Real World, Brad Hooker begins by answering this question, and then argues for a rule-consequentialist theory. According to rule-consequentialism, acts should be assessed morally in terms of impartially justifiedrules, and rules are impartially justified if and only if the expected overall value of their general internalization is at least as great as for any alternative rules. In the course of developing his rule-consequentialism, Hooker discusses impartiality, well-being, fairness, equality, the questionof how the 'general internalization' of rules is to be interpreted by rule-consequentialism, and the main objections to rule-consequentialism. He also discusses the social contract theory of morality, act-consequentialism, and the question of which moral prohibitions and which duties to help othersrule-consequentialism endorses. The last part of the book considers the implications of rule-consequentialism for some current controversies in practical ethics.

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What are appropriate criteria for assessing a theory of morality? In Ideal Code, Real World, Brad Hooker begins by answering this question, and then argues for a rule-consequentialist theory. According to rule-consequentialism, acts should be assessed morally in terms of impartially justifiedrules, and rules are impartially justified i...

Brad Hooker is a Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading.

other books by Brad Hooker

Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.53 inPublished:May 12, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199256578

ISBN - 13:9780199256570

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. What are the rules to promote?3. Questions of formulation4. Is rule-consequentialism guilty of collapse or incoherence?5. Predictability and convention6. Prohibitions and special obligations7. Act-consequentialism8. Rule-consequntialism and doing good for the world9. Help with practical problemsAfterwordNotesReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This is a lucidly written and skillfully argued book by a thoughtful, discerning, and fair-minded philosopher with an enviable command of the relevant literature. Anyone interested in consequentialism or, indeed, in ethical theory generally should read it."--William Shaw, Mind "Scanlon did us a great service by articulating a contractualist conception of right and wrong and Hooker matches him in providing an up-to-date, up-to-the-mark version of the rule-consequentialist alternative."--Philip Pettit, Times Literary Supplement "Hooker's book covers a lot of ground, and does so in a stimulating and often convincing way."--THEORIA, A Swedish Journal of Philosophy "The book passes succinctly from meta-ethical innovations, through detailed comparisons with other major moral theories to a series of provocative real world applications... This is the best available interpretation of the collective strand of the Consequentialist tradition."--Tim Mulgan, Philosophical Quarterly "Has the special virtue of being both intelligible to general readers and powerful enough to advance the subject for specialists...an indispensable resource for anyone seriously assessing the major theoretical alternatives in normative ethics."--Robert Audi, Utilitas "All in all, Ideal Code, Real World is a truly first-rate work in moral philosophy. Hooker's writing is clear and succinct, and his argumentation is powerful. This book is a major contribution to normative moral theory, simply 'must' reading for anyone interested in ethics."--Mark Timmons, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research "This book seems to me the best statement and defence, so far, of one of the most important moraltheories."--Derek Parfit, University of Oxford "Brad Hooker's book is excellent. It offers a novel theory. It is well argued and fun to read. I highly recommend it to my colleagues. I also think that it would be a very good book to use in an upper-division ethical theory course, or a graduate course on ethical theory."--Julia Driver, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews "Ideal Code, Real World is an admirably honest and intellectually rigorous attempt to defend ideal code consequentialism. The book is striking in its comprehensiveness, not that it covers everything, but that it discusses enough issues of different sorts that the discerning reader will know how to apply the argumentative strategy to other issues. In this regard, the book should prove highly valuable in both graduate and undergraduate courses dedicated to the structure of moral theory."--George Harris, Ethics "Very well-written, extremely clear and, given its wealth of content, wonderfully concise. It deserves to be very widely read and extensively discussed."--James Lenman, Philosophical Books "If you think rule-consequentialism was refuted years ago, then this book will give you serious reason to change your mind. Even if you don't think that, I bet your arguments are not as good as those in Brad Hooker's book...a model of lucidity, elegance, economy, and consideration for the reader. This book is a superb accomplishment."--Andrew Moore, Australasian Journal of Philosophy "Hooker's writing is very concise and clear, yet technical. He demonstrates a wide knowledge of ethical theory. Scholarly and closely argued."--Choice