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What determines whether an action is right or wrong? One appealing idea is that a moral code ought to contain a number of rules that tell people how to behave and that are simple and few enough to be easily learned. Another appealing idea is that the consequences of actions matter, often more than anything else. Rule consequentialism tries to weave these two ideas into a general theory of morality. This theory holds that morally wrong actions are the ones forbidden by rules whose acceptance would maximize the overall good. Morality, Rules and Consequences: A Critical Reader explores for students and researchers the relationship between consequentialist theory and moral rules. Most of the chapters focus on rule consequentialism or on the distinction between act and rule versions of consequentialism. Contributors, many of whom are the leading philosophers in the area, suggest ways of assessing whether rule consequentialism could be a satisfactory moral theory. These essays, all of which are previously unpublished, provide students in Moral Philosophy with essential material and ask key questions on just what the criteria for an adequate moral theory might be. Features *The volume presents original scholarship on an important and developing area of contemporary moral philosophy *The contributors are the leading philosophers in the field *Advances debate about whether rule consequentialism is a satisfactory moral theory *A balanced collection containing essays by supporters of the theory and its critics Contributors: David Haslett, Brad Hooker, Shelly Kagan, Sanford Levy, David Lyons, Dale E. Miller, Phillip Montague, Tim Mulgan, Philip Pettit, Madison Powers, Jonathan Riley, William Shaw, Michael Smith and Alan Thomas.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780748611744
ISBN-10: 0748611746
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 24mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Edinburgh University Press
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publish Date: 28-Jun-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


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Author Biography - Brad Hooker

Brad Hooker is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Reading. Elinor Mason is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Arizona State University. Dale E. Miller is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Old Dominion University.

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