Kantian Consequentialism

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byDavid Cummiskey

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The central problem for normative ethics is the conflict between a consequentialist view--that morality requires promoting the good of all--and a belief that the rights of the individual place significant constraints on what may be done to help others. Standard interpretations see Kant asrejecting all forms of consequentialism, and defending a theory which is fundamentally duty-based and agent-centered. Certain actions, like sacrificing the innocent, are categorically forbidden. In this original and controversial work, Cummiskey argues that there is no defensible basis for thisview, that Kant's own arguments actually entail a consequentialist conclusion. But this new form of consequentialism which follows from Kant's theories has a distinctly Kantian tone. The capacity of rational action is prior to the value of happiness; thus providing justification for the view thatrational nature is more important than mere pleasures and pains.

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The central problem for normative ethics is the conflict between a consequentialist view--that morality requires promoting the good of all--and a belief that the rights of the individual place significant constraints on what may be done to help others. Standard interpretations see Kant asrejecting all forms of consequentialism, and def...

David Cummiskey is at Bates College.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 9.57 × 6.42 × 0.67 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195094530

ISBN - 13:9780195094534

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"This is a richly interesting and well-researched book. It contains provocative and important arguments concerning central elements of Kantian ethics, agent-centered constraints, and a new form of consequentialism."--The Philosophical Review