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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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Act Consequentialism and Common Sense Morality

Act Consequentialism and Common Sense Morality

Chapter:
(p.395) 57 Act Consequentialism and Common Sense Morality
Source:
On What Matters
Author(s):

Derek Parfit

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198778608.003.0022

This chapter reveals some insights into act consequentialism. It begins with the claim that it would often be wrong to treat people in certain ways, such as deceiving or coercing them, or breaking our promises to them, even when such acts would make things go better. The chapter then turns to deontic and non-deontic badness. These are different kinds of badness, as is shown by cases in which such acts are not wrong, because their non-deontic badness is outweighed by the goodness of their effects. Since these acts would have this intrinsic badness, though they would not be wrong, it could not be their wrongness that made them intrinsically bad.

Keywords:   act consequentialism, common sense morality, badness, deontic badness, non-deontic badness, personal duties, shared duties

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