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On What MattersVolume Three$
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Derek Parfit

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778608

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198778608.001.0001

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The Right and the Good

The Right and the Good

Chapter:
(p.349) 55 The Right and the Good
Source:
On What Matters
Author(s):

Derek Parfit

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198778608.003.0020

This chapter introduces a number of claims. If we are not act consequentialists, we may think that we could always reasonably want and hope that things will go in the ways that would be best and that it would often be best if some people acted wrongly. Therefore we could often reasonably want and hope that some people will act wrongly. Act consequentialists claim that, when it would be best if people acted in some way, this fact would make this act right. Some other people claim that the badness of any wrong act would prevent this act from making things go best. This second claim is false. Some wrong acts make things go better by preventing several other similar wrong acts. There are other wrong acts, most of us believe, that would make things go best.

Keywords:   act consequentialism, wrongdoing, moral reasons, impartial reasons, deontic badness, non-deontic badness, reason

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