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The Second Mistake in Moral Mathematics is Not About the Worth of Mere Participation

Petersson, Björn LU (2004) In Utilitas 16(3). p.288-315
Abstract
"The Second Mistake" (TSM) is to think that if an act is right or wrong because of its effects, the only relevant effects are the effects of this particular act. This is not (as some think) a truism, since "the effects of this particular act" and "its effects" need not co-refer. Derek Parfit's rejection of TSM is based mainly on intuitions concerning sets of acts that over-determine certain harms. In these cases, each act belongs to the relevant set in virtue of a causal relation (other than marginal contribution) to a specific harmful event. This feature may make an act wrong, in a fashion consequentialists could admit. That explication of TSM does not rely on the questionable assumption that the set of acts is what harms here.... (More)
"The Second Mistake" (TSM) is to think that if an act is right or wrong because of its effects, the only relevant effects are the effects of this particular act. This is not (as some think) a truism, since "the effects of this particular act" and "its effects" need not co-refer. Derek Parfit's rejection of TSM is based mainly on intuitions concerning sets of acts that over-determine certain harms. In these cases, each act belongs to the relevant set in virtue of a causal relation (other than marginal contribution) to a specific harmful event. This feature may make an act wrong, in a fashion consequentialists could admit. That explication of TSM does not rely on the questionable assumption that the set of acts is what harms here. Independently of this, there are several other reasons to prefer it to the "mere participation" approach. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Parfit Jackson TSM
in
Utilitas
volume
16
issue
3
pages
288 - 315
publisher
Cambridge University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85008525734
ISSN
0953-8208
DOI
10.1017/S0953820804001189
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
df758825-2276-4bfc-a9a9-5ef53354303a (old id 144306)
date added to LUP
2007-07-26 16:59:02
date last changed
2017-10-01 04:51:11
@article{df758825-2276-4bfc-a9a9-5ef53354303a,
  abstract     = {"The Second Mistake" (TSM) is to think that if an act is right or wrong because of its effects, the only relevant effects are the effects of this particular act. This is not (as some think) a truism, since "the effects of this particular act" and "its effects" need not co-refer. Derek Parfit's rejection of TSM is based mainly on intuitions concerning sets of acts that over-determine certain harms. In these cases, each act belongs to the relevant set in virtue of a causal relation (other than marginal contribution) to a specific harmful event. This feature may make an act wrong, in a fashion consequentialists could admit. That explication of TSM does not rely on the questionable assumption that the set of acts is what harms here. Independently of this, there are several other reasons to prefer it to the "mere participation" approach.},
  author       = {Petersson, Björn},
  issn         = {0953-8208},
  keyword      = {Parfit
Jackson
TSM},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {288--315},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {Utilitas},
  title        = {The Second Mistake in Moral Mathematics is Not About the Worth of Mere Participation},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0953820804001189},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2004},
}