Introduction to Consequentialism

All Consequentialist theories of ethics share this common feature, they all maintain that the rightness or wrongness of an action is determined by the consequences which follow from the act. If good consequences follow, then the action is determined to be 'good'. If bad consequences follow, then the action is determined to be 'bad'. The work for the Consequentialist is to spell out what counts as 'good' and 'bad'. This gives rise the distinct versions of Consequentialism

  1. Egoism -
    The Egoistic Principle: Whatever brings me happiness is good.
  2. Hedonism -
    The Hedonistic Principle: Whatever brings me pleasure is good.
  3. Utilitarianism -
    The Utilitarian Principle: Whatever brings about the most Happiness/Pleasure is good.


PHI 105 Page | Notes Index