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On What MattersVolume Three$
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Derek Parfit

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778608

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198778608.001.0001

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Towards a Unified Theory

Towards a Unified Theory

Chapter:
(p.413) 58 Towards a Unified Theory
Source:
On What Matters
Author(s):

Derek Parfit

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198778608.003.0023

This chapter builds towards a wider theory combining a version of common sense morality with a particular rule consequentialist justification. It asks whether the most plausible principles of common sense morality can all be given some further justification, which may appeal to some feature that these principles have in common. On one plausible hypothesis, the best principles of common sense morality are also the principles whose acceptance would on the whole make things go best. We might justifiably accept this hypothesis. The two parts of this theory, furthermore, would achieve more by being combined. Rule consequentialism would be strengthened if this theory supports that seems to be the best version of common sense morality. This version of Common Sense Morality would be similarly strengthened if it can be plausibly supported in this rule consequentialist way.

Keywords:   common sense morality, rule consequentialism, motive consequentialism, optimific modes and rules, small effects, great harms

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