Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Beyond Consequentialism$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paul Hurley

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199559305

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559305.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 August 2020

The Demandingness Objection: Too Demanding, or Not Demanding at All?

The Demandingness Objection: Too Demanding, or Not Demanding at All?

(p.35) 3 The Demandingness Objection: Too Demanding, or Not Demanding at All?
Beyond Consequentialism

Paul Hurley (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Consequentialism has since its inception faced persistent challenges of excess: it is, critics charge, too demanding, too confining, and too alienating to offer a plausible alternative moral theory. This chapter argues that the deeper challenge confronting consequentialism is not one of excess but of defect; in particular, of defects along precisely these dimensions upon which it is taken to be excessive. Developing a line of thought introduced in Chapter 1, the arguments in this chapter draw upon the work of Shelly Kagan and others to demonstrate that consequentialism, as it is typically presented, is a theory of exacting moral standards, but not of decisive reasons for agents to conform to these standards. As a result, this theory of exacting moral standards can, with perfect consistency, be incorporated within an overall account upon which there are few, if any, rational demands upon agents to heed such standards. These challenges of defect confronting consequentialism are far more formidable than the traditional challenges of excess.

Keywords:   demandingness, confinement, Kagan, moral reasons, moral standards, impersonal standpoint

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .