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 antated further reading at the end of each chapter, Consequentialism is ideal for students seeking an authoritative and clearly explained survey of this important problem.
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.