1 See for example Pettit Philip, ed. Consequentialism, Aldershot, 1993, Introduction, pp. xii–xiv; Scheffler Samuel, ed. Consequentialism and its Critics, Oxford, 1988, Introduction, p. 1. Critics of this tendency include Bennett Jonathan, ‘Two Departures from Consequentialism”, Ethics, c (1989), 54–66; and John Broome, whose discussion is considered in §8 below. See also McNaughton D. and Bawling P., ‘Agent-relativity and the doing-happening distinction”, Philosophical Studies, lxiii (1991), 167–85.
2 Nagel Thomas, The Possibility of Altruism, Oxford, 1970, chs. VII and X. Nagel uses the terms ‘objective” (for ‘agent-neutral”) and ‘subjective” (for ‘agent-relative”).
3 Though this is in the spirit of Nagel it makes some changes. The most significant concerns the range of ‘y”. Nagel makes it range over ‘act, event or circumstance” (Nagel , p. 47). For the purposes of my definition, in contrast, the extension of the reason-predicate should strictly be thought of as a set of triples of agent, possible choice-situation for that agent, and possible action-type open to the agent in that situation. However, to avoid over-complication I have suppressed the reference to possible choice situations. Fully spelt out in accordance with the conception of a reason-predicate as having three places, the schema ‘Py → there is reason for x to y”, would become, ‘Pz in choice-situation y → there is reason for x to z in y”. Notice that the value of the agent variable, ‘x”, and choice-situation variable, ‘y”, must be fixed to determine the range of the action-variable, ‘z”.
4 Broome John, Weighing Goods, Equality, Uncertainty and Time, Oxford, 1991, p. 5.
5 Moore G. E., Principia Ethica, Cambridge, 1903, p. 147.
6 Essays on Ethics, Religion and Society, ed. Robson John M., Toronto, 1969, Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, x. 246.
7 I discuss this view, and more generally the connections between morality, blame, and punishment in ‘The Definition of Morality”, Ethics: Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 35, ed. Griffiths A. Phillips, Cambridge, 1993, pp. 121–44.
8 Compare Thomas Scanlon's discussion of what he calls ‘philosophical utilitarianism” in his ‘Contractualism and Utilitarianism” in Utilitarianism and Beyond, ed. Sen Amartya and Williams Bernard, Cambridge, 1982, pp. 103–28.