The Demands Of Consequentialism

Paperback | December 7, 2007

byTim Mulgan

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According to consequentialism, we should always put our resources where they will do the most good. A small contribution to a reputable aid agency can save a child from a crippling illness. We should thus devote all our energies to charity work, as well as all our money, till we reach thepoint where our own basic needs, or ability to keep earning money, are in jeopardy. Such conclusions strike many people as absurd. Consequentialism seems unreasonably demanding, as it leaves the agent no room for her own projects or interests. Tim Mulgan examines consequentialist responses to this objection. A variety of previous consequentialist solutions are considered and foundwanting, including rule consequentialism, the extremism of Shelly Kagan and Peter Singer, Michael Slote's satisficing consequentialism, and Samuel Scheffler's hybrid moral theory. The Demands of Consequentialism develops a new consequentialist theory, designed to be intuitively appealing, theoretically sound, and only moderately demanding. Moral choices are first divided into distinct realms, primarily on the basis of their impact on the well-being of others. Each realm hasits own characteristic features, and different moral realms are governed by different moral principles. The resulting theory incorporates elements of act consequentialism, rule consequentialism, and Scheffler's hybid theory. This original and highly readable account of the limits of consequentialism will be useful to anyone interested in understanding morality.

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According to consequentialism, we should always put our resources where they will do the most good. A small contribution to a reputable aid agency can save a child from a crippling illness. We should thus devote all our energies to charity work, as well as all our money, till we reach thepoint where our own basic needs, or ability to k...

Tim Mulgan is at University of St Andrews.

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see all books by Tim Mulgan
Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.75 inPublished:December 7, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199286973

ISBN - 13:9780199286973

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Options for Consequentialism3. Rule Consequentialism4. Other Forms of Collective Consequentialism5. Sub-Maximizing Consequentialism6. Hybrid Moral Theories7. Two Moral Realms8. The Morality of Reciprocity9. The Morality of Necessity10. The New TheoryProof for Chapter 6Bibliography, Index

Editorial Reviews

`The Demands of Consequentialism is a very interesting book, devoted to a no less fascinating problem. If you have ever found yourself wondering whether you should, for instance, spend money on the trip of your life, or instead send it to Oxfam, this book will be of real interest to you ...Mulgan's insightful book contains clear and fine-grained discussions of the various views he rejects.'European Journal of Philosophy