Vol. 20 Núm. 1 y 2 (2000)

La imposibilidad de un consecuencialismo moderado

Martín Farrell
Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Publicado 2000-11-30


Consequentialism (with the exception of ethical egoism) is an ethical theory which accepts only agent-neutral reasons. A moderate consequentialist also accepts that -in certain circumstancesagent-relative reasons of autonomy can override an agent-neutral reason. Anda deontologist believes in the existence of agent-relative reasons in the form of deontological constraints. But the moderate consequentialist faces a dilemma: she must accept as a valid option an action that causes (unconsented) harm to others, or she must accept at least one deontological constraint, i.e., a constraint against harming others by means of an action. However, if she accepts a deontological constraint, she is not a moderate any more. So, if you begin accepting agent-relative reasons of autonomy, the end of the road is the acceptance of deontological constraints.