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In Defense of a Version of Satisficing Consequentialism


In this article, I develop, motivate, and offer a qualified defense of a version of satisficing consequentialism (SC). I develop the view primarily in light of objections to other versions of SC recently posed by Ben Bradley. I motivate the view by showing that it (1) accommodates the intuitions apparently supporting those objections, (2) is supported by certain ‘common-sense’ moral intuitions about specific cases, and (3) captures the central ideas expressed by satisficing consequentialists in the recent literature. Finally, I offer a qualified defense of the view that consists in showing that it meets Bradley's criteria for being a version of satisficing consequentialism that is ‘worth considering’. Specifically, it is a version of SC that solves certain problems for maximizing consequentialism and yet does not permit the gratuitous prevention of goodness.

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David Sosa , ‘Consequences of Consequentialism’, Mind 102 (1993), pp. 101–22

Thomas Hurka , ‘Two Kinds of Satisficing’, Philosophical Studies 59 (1990), pp. 107–11

John Turri , ‘You Can't Get Away with Murder That Easily: A Response to Tim Mulgan’, International Journal of Philosophical Studies 13.4 (2005), pp. 489–92

Timothy Mulgan , ‘How Satisficers Get Away with Murder’, International Journal of Philosophical Studies 9 (2001), pp. 41–6

Timothy Mulgan , ‘Reply to John Turri’, International Journal of Philosophical Studies 13.4 (2005), pp. 493–6

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  • ISSN: 0953-8208
  • EISSN: 1741-6183
  • URL: /core/journals/utilitas
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