Beyond Consequentialism (Hardback)
  • Beyond Consequentialism (Hardback)
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Beyond Consequentialism (Hardback)

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£63.00
Hardback 288 Pages / Published: 15/10/2009
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Consequentialism, the theory that morality requires us to promote the best overall outcome, is the default alternative in contemporary moral philosophy, and is highly influential in public discourses beyond academic philosophy. Paul Hurley argues that current discussions of the challenge consequentialism tend to overlook a fundamental challenge to consequentialism. The standard consequentialist account of the content of morality, he argues, cannot be reconciled to the authoritativeness of moral standards for rational agents. If rational agents typically have decisive reasons to do what morality requires, then consequentialism cannot be the correct account of moral standards. Hurley builds upon this challenge to argue that the consequentialist case for grounding the impartial evaluation of actions in the impartial evaluation of outcomes is built upon a set of subtle and mutually reinforcing mistakes. Through exposing these mistakes and misappropriations, he undermines consequentialist arguments against alternative approaches that recognize a conception of impartiality appropriate to the evaluation of actions which is distinct from the impartiality appropriate to the evaluation of outcomes. A moral theory that recognizes a fundamental role for such a distinct conception of impartiality can account for the rational authority of moral standards, but does so, Hurley argues, by taking morality beyond consequentialism in both its standard and non-standard forms.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199559305
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 590 g
Dimensions: 241 x 162 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
There have been a number of excellent books published in moral philosophy in recent years, but even when measured against this impressive comparison-class Hurleys book represents an outstanding achievement. * Alan Thomas, The Philosophical Quarterly *
Hurley's book is thoroughly and densely argued and presents a number of powerful objections to consequentialism. ... an important book which contains many innovating arguments. It deserves serious attention from defenders of consequentialism. * Andrews Reath, Journal of Utilitas *
insightful . . . Beyond Consequentialism is a model of rigorous and creative argument. Though the idea that we need to look to an interpersonal conception of impartiality to find an intuitively plausible alternative to consequentialism has been in the air for a while now, Hurley has done an exemplary job of making clear, in a way it had not previously been, the considerable promise of developing an interpersonal understanding of impartiality as what is needed if the lingering appeal of consequentialism is to be exorcised once and for all. * Rahul Kumar, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
This really is an impressive book. It provides the most rigorous argument that I have seen so far for the attractive and increasingly popular suggestion that, by developing the idea of an interpersonal point of view, we get better accounts of both the content and the authority of morality than anything the consequentialists can offer. * Robert H. Myers, Ethics *

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