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Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 1$
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Mark Timmons

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693269

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693269.001.0001

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Cordelia’s bond and indirect consequentialism

Cordelia’s bond and indirect consequentialism

(p.143) 7 Cordelia’s bond and indirect consequentialism
Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 1

Nick Zangwill

Oxford University Press

This paper argues that theorists who want to respect common sense morality must respect not just verdicts but also grounds for verdicts. Just as theories that baldly deny that there is any value in personal commitments or who say that personal commitments do not generate duties are problematically reversionary, so are theories that say that there is value in personal commitments but it is something foreign to common sense morality. Indirect consequentialism is in fact committed to a massive error theory about ordinary moral thought. Thus it loses the advantage it was supposed to have in comparison with direct consequentialism. In one case the massive error is over verdicts, in the other over grounds for verdicts. Neither form of consequentialism can respect matters of the heart. 

Keywords:   consequentialism, loyalty, grounds, love, common sense morality, partialism, duty

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