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NOT SO PROMISING AFTER ALL: EVALUATOR-RELATIVE TELEOLOGY AND COMMON-SENSE MORALITY

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Abstract: 

Douglas Portmore has recently argued in this journal for a “promising result”– that combining teleological ethics with “evaluator relativism” about the good allows an ethical theory to account for deontological intuitions while “accommodat[ing] the compelling idea that it is always permissible to bring about the best available state of affairs.” I show that this result is false. It follows from the indexical semantics of evaluator relativism that Portmore's compelling idea is false. I also try to explain what might have led to this misunderstanding.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy University of Maryland

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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