3
DOING HARM

3.1 Deontology

Consequentialists accept a simple theory of the right. There is one and only one factor that has any intrinsic moral significance in determining the status of an act: the goodness of that act's consequences (as compared to the consequences of the alternative acts available to the agent). Of course, as we have also seen (in 2.6), consequentiallsts can find a place for the more familiar rules of commonsense morality as well -- a requirement to keep one's promises, a prohibition against lying, and so on. These secondary rules pick out types of acts that generally have good or bad consequences, and so provide helpful guidance in normal deliberation. But whatever the usefulness of these more familiar rules, the fact remains that from the consequentialist point of view they have no intrinsic moral significance. The various factors identified by these rules (promise keeping, truth telling, and so on) may be instrumentally valuable in discovering which act has the best results; but in and of themselves they play no role in making it be the case that a given act has the moral status that it does. Ultimately, an act is right if and only if it will have the best results; morally speaking, nothing else matters.

So say the consequentialists. But many people find this a difficult position to accept. Intuitively, at least, it seems that many normative factors have a moral significance that is not exhausted by the good or bad results that they normally involve. Intuitively, that is, most of us believe that there are other factors that have intrinsic moral significance beyond that of goodness of outcomes. Of course, as I have repeatedly emphasized, virtually no one denies that goodness of outcomes is one of the intrinsically relevant factors; but the point to remember now is that one can accept this modest claim while still rejecting the consequentialist's considerably bolder claim that this is the only factor with intrinsic significance.

-70-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Normative Ethics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - Preliminaries 1
  • Part One - Factors 23
  • 2 - The God 25
  • 3 - Doing Harm 70
  • 4 - Other Constraints 106
  • 5 - Further Factors 153
  • Part Two - Foundations 187
  • 6 - Teleological Foundations 189
  • 7 - Deontological Foundations 240
  • Suggested Readings 305
  • References 321
  • About the Book and Author 329
  • Index 331
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 337

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.