Consequentialism is a type of ethical theory that holds that the ultimate basis for judgment about the rightness or wrongness of conduct is based on what?
What is the broader category that consequentialism falls under?
Which of the following is NOT a chief candidate for defining moral goods in consequentialist theories?
What is the main difference between consequentialism and deontological ethics?
What are some forms of consequentialism?
What is the normative status of an action according to consequentialism?
What is the difference between actualism and possibilism in consequentialist theories?
What is one criticism of consequentialism?
Who are some notable utilitarian consequentialists?
Consequentialism is a type of ethical theory that holds that the consequences of one's actions are the ultimate basis for judgment about the rightness or wrongness of that conduct. It falls under the broader category of teleological ethics, which claims that the moral value of any act consists in its tendency to produce things of intrinsic value. Different consequentialist theories differ in how they define moral goods, with chief candidates including pleasure, the absence of pain, the satisfaction of one's preferences, and broader notions of the "general good." Consequentialism is usually contrasted with deontological ethics, which derives the rightness or wrongness of one's conduct from the character of the behavior itself rather than the outcomes of the conduct. Some argue that consequentialist theories and deontological theories are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Forms of consequentialism include Utilitarianism, Rule consequentialism, State consequentialism, Ethical egoism, Ethical altruism, Two-level consequentialism, Motive consequentialism, and Negative consequentialism. The normative status of an action depends on its consequences according to consequentialism. The consequences of the actions of an agent may include other actions by this agent. Actualism and possibilism disagree on how later possible actions impact the normative status of the current action by the same agent. One important characteristic of many normative moral theories such as consequentialism is the ability to produce practical moral judgments.Consequentialism: A Summary
- Consequentialists use an ideal, neutral observer to make moral judgments based on the best consequences.
- In practice, it is difficult to adopt the ideal observer's perspective because it is hard to know all possible consequences.
- Consequentialist theories can require that agents choose the best action in line with what they know about the situation.
- Consequentialism can be differentiated by whether the focus is on the agent or the beneficiary of the good consequences.
- Some consequentialist theories argue that we should not limit our ethical consideration to the interests of human beings alone.
- Consequentialists divide by the types of consequences that are taken to matter most, such as pleasure or political liberty.
- Consequentialism can be contrasted with aretaic moral theories such as virtue ethics.
- Teleological ethics argue that the moral value of any act consists in its tendency to produce things of intrinsic value.
- The term consequentialism was coined by G. E. M. Anscombe in her essay "Modern Moral Philosophy" in 1958.
- Consequentialism has been criticized for requiring too much distance between moral agents and their own commitments.
- Notable utilitarian consequentialists include Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Peter Singer.
Test your knowledge of consequentialism with our quiz! From Utilitarianism to Ethical Altruism, this quiz covers the different forms of consequentialist theories and their defining characteristics. You'll also learn about the criticisms of consequentialism and the history of its development as an ethical theory. Whether you're a philosophy student or just curious about ethical theories, this quiz is a great way to expand your knowledge on consequentialism.
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