Satisficing consequentialism still doesn't satisfy

Slater, J. (2020) Satisficing consequentialism still doesn't satisfy. Utilitas, 32(1), pp. 108-117. (doi: 10.1017/S0953820819000402)

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Satisficing consequentialism is an unpopular theory. Because it permits gratuitous sub-optimal behaviour, it strikes many as wildly implausible. It has been widely rejected as a tenable moral theory for more than twenty years. In this article, I rehearse the arguments behind this unpopularity, before examining an attempt to redeem satisficing. Richard Yetter Chappell has recently defended a form of ‘effort satisficing consequentialism’. By incorporating an ‘effort ceiling’ – a limit on the amount of willpower a situation requires – and requiring that agents produce at least as much good as they could given how much effort they are exerting, Chappell avoids the obvious objections. However, I demonstrate that the revised theory is susceptible to a different objection, and that the resulting view requires that any supererogatory behaviour must be efficient, which fails to match typical moral verdicts.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Slater, Dr Joe
Authors: Slater, J.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Utilitas
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1741-6183
Published Online:18 October 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Cambridge University Press
First Published:First published in Utilitas 32(1):108-117
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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