Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 2
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Andrić, Vuko 2013. Objective consequentialism and the licensing dilemma. Philosophical Studies, Vol. 162, Issue. 3, p. 547.

    Wilkinson, Dominic 2009. The self-fulfilling prophecy in intensive care. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, Vol. 30, Issue. 6, p. 401.


A Consequentialist Distinction between What We Ought to Do and Ought to Try

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 September 2008

G. E. Moore raised the question of whether consequentialists ought to maximize actual rather than expected value, and came down in favour of the former alternative. But rather recently Frank Jackson has presented an example which has been widely thought to clinch the case in favour of the alternative view. This article argues for a sort of compromise between these rival views, namely that while we ought to do what maximizes actual value, we ought to try to do what maximizes expected value. It is claimed that consequentialists could consistently adopt this view, though in Jackson's case they are certain that, if they try to maximize expected value, they shall most likely not maximize actual value.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0953-8208
  • EISSN: 1741-6183
  • URL: /core/journals/utilitas
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *