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Ought Implies Kant: A Reply to the Consequentialist Critique (Hardback)
  • Ought Implies Kant: A Reply to the Consequentialist Critique (Hardback)
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Ought Implies Kant: A Reply to the Consequentialist Critique (Hardback)

(author)
£65.00
Hardback 132 Pages / Published: 16/01/2009
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Ought Implies Kant offers an original defense of the ethical theory of Immanuel Kant, and develops an extension of that theory's account of moral duty to include direct duties to nonhuman animals. The discussion centers on a critical examination of consequentialism, the view that the rightness or wrongness of an action is determined solely by its consequences. Kantianism, by contrast, claims that the core of ethics is to treat all persons-or, in Joel Marks's view, all living beings-as ends-in-themselves. The consequentialist criterion would seem to permit, indeed require, violating the dignity of persons (not to mention the dignity of other animals) if this would result in a better outcome. This volume treats the consequentialist challenge to Kantian ethics in several novel ways. To begin with, the utilitarian version of consequentialism is delineated and defended by means of a conceptual device dubbed by the author as the Consequentialist Continuum. Marks then provides an exhaustive and definitive exposition of the relatively neglected Epistemic Objection to utilitarianism. While acknowledging the intuitive appeal of utilitarianism's core conviction-that we should always do what is for the best-Marks argues that this is an impossible injunction to fulfill, or even to attempt to fulfill, because all of the relevant results of our actions can never be known. Kantianism is then introduced as a viable alternative account of our ethical obligations. Marks argues that Kantianism is well within the scope of normal human competence and conforms equally well to our ethical intuitions once the theory's proper interpretation is appreciated. However, Kant's own version must be extended to accommodate the rightful moral consideration we owe to nonhuman animals. Finally, Marks employs the notion of a Consequentialist Illusion to explain utilitarianism's hold on our moral intuitions, while developing a form of Consequentialist Kantianism to address them. An original and penetrating examination of a central debate

Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9780739128770
Number of pages: 132
Weight: 318 g
Dimensions: 238 x 163 x 14 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Marks offers an informed critical assessment of major alternatives in ethical theory as well as a spirited defense of Kant's position. A welcome addition to the field. -- Tom Regan, North Carolina State University
This book provides a lively and interesting case for Kant's ethics. It also breaks ground in its offer of an amendment to justify moral regard for animals. -- Joel Kupperman, University of Connecticut

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