Thus, while Nozick's side-constraints are absolute restrictions on behavior, Amartya Sen proposes a theory that recognizes the importance of certain rules, but these rules are not absolute. Rule consequentialism is a theory that is sometimes seen as an attempt to reconcile consequentialism with deontology, or rules-based ethics[7]—and in some cases, this is stated as a criticism of rule consequentialism. [22], Another consequentialist version is motive consequentialism, which looks at whether the state of affairs that results from the motive to choose an action is better or at least as good as each of the alternative state of affairs that would have resulted from alternative actions. [32] On his view, it is a requirement that the agent has rational control over the event in question. Each of the different types of Consequentialism theories are each defined differently andhave many differences between them.Utilitarianism: So Utilitarianism say that you should maximize the most good for thelargest number. Consequentialism: is it right or wrong you decide.There are many different types of Consequentialism but I am just going to list four ofthem. Williams argues that consequentialism requires moral agents to take a strictly impersonal view of all actions, since it is only the consequences, and not who produces them, that are said to matter. A possible inference is, that one can not be blamed for mistaken judgments if the motivation was to do good.[23]. Other theories adopt a package of several goods, all to be promoted equally. Thus, a morally right action is one that produces a good outcome or result, and the consequences of an action or rule generally outweigh all other considerations (i.e. ones family, fellow citizens/compatriots, class or race. The consequences of the actions of an agent may include other actions by this agent. Good actions are the ones that produce the least harm. [2] Similarly, Robert Nozick argued for a theory that is mostly consequentialist, but incorporates inviolable "side-constraints" which restrict the sort of actions agents are permitted to do. As a result, it could be argued that there is a moral imperative for an agent to inform himself as much as possible about a situation before judging the appropriate course of action. If the temptation is irrepressible then this course of action is not considered to be an option and is therefore not relevant when assessing what the best alternative is. One way to divide various consequentialisms is by the types of consequences that are taken to matter most, that is, which consequences count as good states of affairs. [...] There is an abysmal contrast between conduct that follows the maxim of an ethic of ultimate ends — that is in religious terms, "the Christian does rightly and leaves the results with the Lord" — and conduct that follows the maxim of an ethic of responsibility, in which case one has to give an account of the foreseeable results of one's action. 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". It is distinct from the other main types of ethical system: Deontology (which derives the rightness or wrongness of an act from the character of the act itself rather than the outcomes of the action), and Virtue Ethics (which focuses on the character of the agent rather than on either the nature or consequences of the action itself). [30], One important characteristic of many normative moral theories such as consequentialism is the ability to produce practical moral judgements. The importance of outcomes that are good for the community outweigh the importance of individual pleasure and pain. John Stuart Mill, in his exposition of hedonistic utilitarianism, proposed a hierarchy of pleasures, meaning that the pursuit of certain kinds of pleasure is more highly valued than the pursuit of other pleasures. Ethics Unwrapped - Consequentialism, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Consequentialism&oldid=989480883, Articles lacking reliable references from July 2018, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from August 2018, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2012, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2012, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from February 2012, Articles with Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy links, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 19 November 2020, at 06:22. However, this need not be the case. [2], It has been suggested that this article be, This section is about actualism and possibilism in ethics. Thus, one might pursue an increase in material equality or political liberty instead of something like the more ephemeral "pleasure". These are called "agent-neutral" and "agent-focused" theories respectively. At the very least, any moral theory needs to define the standpoint from which the goodness of the consequences are to be determined. This version gives relevance to the motive of an act and links it to its consequences. These two approaches could be reconciled by acknowledging the tension between an agent's interests as an individual and as a member of various groups, and seeking to somehow optimize among all of these interests. Act-consequentialism. [citation needed], One common tactic among consequentialists, particularly those committed to an altruistic (selfless) account of consequentialism, is to employ an ideal, neutral observer from which moral judgements can be made. ones family, fellow citizens/compatriots, class or race. "[21], The two-level approach involves engaging in critical reasoning and considering all the possible ramifications of one's actions before making an ethical decision, but reverting to generally reliable moral rules when one is not in a position to stand back and examine the dilemma as a whole. "[14] During the time of Mozi, war and famine were common, and population growth was seen as a moral necessity for a harmonious society. Some, like Henry Sidgwick, argue that a certain degree of egoism promotes the general welfare of society for two reasons: because individuals know how to please themselves best, and because if everyone were an austere altruist then general welfare would inevitably decrease.

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