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  • Cited by 2
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: November 2019

18 - Consequentialism and Its Critics

from Section Three - Analytic Moral, Social, and Political Philosophy


In the second half of the twentieth century, the doctrine that came to be known as consequentialism has both taken hard thumpings and shown resilience in rebounding from attacks. In this process consequentialism has come to be fairly well understood, but elaborating and clarifying the varieties of nonconsequentialism are still works in progress, so it is perhaps premature to venture any definitive assessment on this dispute. Whether it is reasonable to accept a moral theory depends on the merits of its rivals. Perhaps any theory will have counterintuitive implications; perhaps the true one is least counterintuitive all things considered.