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Rule-Consequentialism and Obligations Toward the Needy

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Abstract:

Most of us believe morality requires us to help the desperately needy. But most of us also believe morality doesn't require us to make enormous sacrifices in order to help people who have no special connection with us. Such self-sacrifice is of course praiseworthy, but it isn't morally mandatory. Rule-consequentialism might seem to offer a plausible grounding for such beliefs. Tim Mulgan has recently argued in Analysis and Pacific Philosophical Quarterly that rule-consequentialism cannot do so. This paper replies to Mulgan's arguments.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0114.00048

Affiliations: Philosophy Department, University of Reading, UK

Publication date: March 1, 1998

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