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Consequentialism, Metaphysical Realism and the Argument from Cluelessness



Lenman's ‘argument from cluelessness’ against consequentialism is that a significant percentage of the consequences of our actions are wholly unknowable, so that when it comes to assessing the moral quality of our actions, we are without a clue. I distinguish the argument from cluelessness from traditional epistemic objections to consequentialism. The argument from cluelessness should be no more problematic for consequentialism than the argument from epistemological scepticism should be for metaphysical realism. This puts those who would reject consequentialism on the ground of cluelessness in an awkward philosophical position.