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Consequentialism

Introduction

Consequentialism is the position that the moral character of an action is defined solely by its
consequences. The most popular and influential kind of consequentialism is utilitarianism. Briefly
stated, utilitarians hold that there exists some state of affairs, `the good' or `utility', that is both
valuable in itself…

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everyone affected. By contrast, for a ruleutilitarian, morality is a matter of abiding by those rules
that, if followed universally, would produce the greatest good (i.e., maximise utility).

Negative utilitarianism

Recall the classical utilitarian emphasis on the importance of securing the greatest happiness for
the greatest number. But doing that…

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Consider the following example (from Scarre, p.155): Apparently, one day after a morning's
pillaging and looting, Genghis Khan stopped to explain his views on happiness. `The greatest joy',
he declared, `is to conquer one's enemies, to pursue them, to seize their property, to see their
families in tears, to ride…

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