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Three Forms of Actualist Direct Consequentialism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 October 2022

Shyam Nair*
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA


One family of maximizing act consequentialist theories is actualist direct theories. Indeed, historically there are at least three different forms of actualist direct consequentialism (due to Bentham, Moore, and contemporary consequentialists). This article is about the logical differences between these three actualist direct theories and the differences between actualist direct theories and their competitors. Three main points emerge. First, the sharpest separation between actualist direct theories and their competitors concerns the so-called ‘inheritance’ principle. Second, there are a myriad of other logical differences among actualist direct theories. Third, one theory (Moore's theory) stands out among actualist direct theories because it entails a variety of logical principles. This fact may count in favor of that theory.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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