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Commonsense ConsequentialismWherein Morality Meets Rationality$
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Douglas W. Portmore

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199794539

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794539.001.0001

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Consequentializing Commonsense Morality

Consequentializing Commonsense Morality

(p.84) 4 Consequentializing Commonsense Morality
Commonsense Consequentialism

Douglas W. Portmore

Oxford University Press

The chapter argues for the deontic equivalent thesis: the thesis that, for any plausible nonconsequentialist moral theory, there is a consequentialist counterpart theory that is extensionally equivalent to it. It is argued that, from this thesis, we can infer that consequentialism can accommodate all the essential features of commonsense morality (e.g., supererogatory acts, special obligations, agent-centered options, agent-centered restrictions, etc.), but that we cannot infer from this thesis, as some have claimed, that we are all consequentialists. Lastly, it is argued that consequentialism can do a better job of accounting for certain commonsense moral intuitions than even victim-focused deontology can.

Keywords:   consequentializing, supererogatory acts, moral dilemmas, special obligations, agent-centered options, agent-centered restrictions, deontic equivalence

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