Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Luck, Value, and CommitmentThemes From the Ethics of Bernard Williams$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ulrike Heuer and Gerald Lang

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599325

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599325.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 January 2021

The Inescapability of Consequentialism

The Inescapability of Consequentialism

(p.41) 2 The Inescapability of Consequentialism
Luck, Value, and Commitment

Philip Pettit

Oxford University Press

For non-consequentialists an agent is justified in refusing to breach certain constraints even for the sake of apparently more important, neutral goals: even, indeed, for the sake of maximizing the overall satisfaction of those very constraints. To put the message in a slogan: ‘Not by my hands’. But how can non-consequentialism offer a distinctive evaluation of the social and political arrangements (say, the property conventions) that ethics presupposes? The only plausible answer is: by laying down constraints that we, the community, ought to satisfy in imposing such arrangements on individuals.‘Not by our hands’, as it might be put. But this response is not satisfactory. In this fundamental, political sphere of evaluation, consequentialism is inescapable.

Keywords:   Bernard Williams, consequentialism, non-consequentialism, ethics, politics

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 .