INDIRECT CONSEQUENTIALISM, SUBOPTIMALITY, AND FRIENDSHIP

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Abstract

Abstract:  Critics have persistently charged that indirect consequentialism, despite the best efforts of its defenders, ultimately fails to appropriately account for friendship in the face of the alienation generated by the harsh demands of consequentialism. Robert F. Card has recently alleged that the dispositional emphasis of indirect consequentialism renders its defender incapable of rejecting problematic friendships that are seriously suboptimal. I argue that Card's criticism not only fails to undermine indirect consequentialism, but in fact provides considerations that both help us to better understand the theory and ultimately weigh in favor of it over Card's own brand of sophisticated consequentialism.

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