Consequentialism

By Julia Driver

© 2012 – Routledge

184 pages

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Paperback: 9780415772587
pub: 2011-11-15
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Hardback: 9780415772570
pub: 2011-11-15
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e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Consequentialism is the view that the rightness or wrongness of actions depend solely on their consequences. It is one of the most influential, and controversial, of all ethical theories. In this book, Julia Driver introduces and critically assesses consequentialism in all its forms.

After a brief historical introduction to the problem, Driver examines utilitarianism, and the arguments of its most famous exponents, John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham, and explains the fundamental questions underlying utilitarian theory: what value is to be specified and how it is to be maximized. Driver also discusses indirect forms of consequentialism, the important theories of motive consequentialism and virtue consequentialism, and explains why the distinction between subjective and objective consequentialism is so important.

Including helpful features such as a glossary, chapter summaries, and annotated further reading at the end of each chapter, Consequentialism is ideal for students seeking an authoritative and clearly explained survey of this important problem.

Reviews

"… a finely tuned explanation and defense of global consequentialism, the theory of moral evaluation according to which the moral quality of any action, intention, motive, character trait, or policy depends solely on its consequences. … Noteworthy are the number and range of the highly nuanced examples that Driver uses to illustrate the theory and to reply to objections. … Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty." - CHOICE

"This concise, clear, and lively gem is the most complete and sophisticated introduction to consequentialism available today. Driver's numerous illustrations will stimulate class discussion, and her forceful arguments for her novel contextual, objective, and global version of consequentialism will provoke professionals." - Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Duke University, USA

"Julia Driver has written a truly excellent introduction to consequentialism. The presentation is very clear and well organised. Everyone interested in consequentialism will find this book useful. It is a must-read for graduate students and undergraduates taking upper-level courses in ethics. I learnt a lot from this book." - Martin Peterson, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Classical Utilitarianism 2. Value 3. Maximization 4. Aggregation 5. Objective and Subjective Consequentialism 6. Indirection 7. Character Assessment 8. Consequentialism as Foundational in Normative Ethics. Glossary. Bibliography. Index

About the Author

Julia Driver is Professor of Philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis, USA. She is the author of Uneasy Virtue (2001) and Ethics: The Fundamentals (2006), and is co-editor of the Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, as well as co-editor of the Normative Ethics section of The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

About the Series

New Problems of Philosophy

New Problems of Philosophy

Series Editor: José Luis Bermúdez, Texas A&M University

'Routledge's New Problems of Philosophy series has a most impressive line-up of topical volumes aimed at upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in philosophy and at others with interests in cutting edge philosophical work. The authors are influential figures in their respective fields and notably adept at synthesizing and explaining intricate topics fairly and comprehensively.' – John Heil, Monash University (Australia) and Washington University, St Louis (USA)

‘This is an outstanding collection of volumes. The topics are well chosen and the authors are outstanding. They will be fine texts in a wide range of courses.’ - Stephen Stich, Rutgers University, USA

The New Problems of Philosophy series provides accessible and engaging surveys of the most important problems in contemporary philosophy. Each book examines a topic or theme that has emerged on the philosophical landscape in recent years, or that is a longstanding problem refreshed in light of recent work in philosophy and related disciplines. Clearly explaining the nature of the problem at hand and assessing attempts to answer it, books in the series are excellent starting-points for undergraduate and graduate students wishing to study a single topic in depth. They will also be essential reading for professional philosophers. Additional features include chapter summaries, further reading, and a glossary of technical terms.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHI000000
PHILOSOPHY / General
PHI005000
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy