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Consequentialism and Commitment

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Abstract:

Abstract: It is sometimes claimed that a consequentialist theory such as utilitarianism has problems accommodating the importance of personal commitments to other people. However, by emphasizing the distinction between criteria of rightness and decision procedures, a consequentialist can allow for non-consequentialist decision procedures, such as acting directly on the promptings of natural affection. Furthermore, such non-consequentialist motivational structures can co-exist happily with a commitment to consequentialism. It is possible to be a self-reflective consequentialist who has genuine commitments to individuals and to moral principles, without engaging in self-deception.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0114.00045

Publication date: December 1, 1997

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