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Against Absolute Goodness$
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Richard Kraut

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199844463

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199844463.001.0001

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Noninstrumental Advantageousness

Noninstrumental Advantageousness

Chapter 7 Noninstrumental Advantageousness
Against Absolute Goodness

Richard Kraut

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses how some things are noninstrumentally good for individuals. Instrumental disadvantages and advantages inherit their disadvantageousness and advantageousness from things that are noninstrumentally disadvantageous and advantageous. That is a point that can easily be overlooked, because “good for,” “bad for,” “beneficial,” and so on are so often applied to mere means. If there is such a property as absolute goodness, then the things that are useful in producing whatever has that property can be called good. They are good not absolutely but as a means. But it would be a misuse of terms to say of them, for that reason alone, that they are beneficial or advantageous. If what they lead to is not good for anyone, and if what they hinder is not bad for anyone, they themselves cannot be good for anyone.

Keywords:   noninstrumental goodness, good, advantages, disadvantages

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