UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Acts, agents and moral assessment Simak, Douglas B. 1990

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1990_A1 S56.pdf [ 9.46MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0100470.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0100470-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0100470-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0100470-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0100470-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0100470-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0100470-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0100470-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0100470.ris

Full Text

ACTS, AGENTS AND MORAL ASSESSMENT by DOUGLAS B. SIMAK THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Philosophy We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1989 © Douglas B. Simak, 1989 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Philosophy The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date January 13, 1990 DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT A p e r e n n i a l problem i n moral philosophy concerns the f o r m u l a t i o n of an a c c e p t a b l e account of ' r i g h t a c t i o n ' . Act u t i l i t a r i a n i s m i s one popular account, and much of i t s i n i t i a l appeal i n v o l v e s the f a c t that i t i s taken to have p r a c t i c a l a p p l i c a t i o n . However, i t i s the very attempt to apply act u t i l i t a r i a n i s m which r a i s e s q u e s t i o n s about i t s t e n a b i l i t y . These concerns become acute i n the face of u n c e r t a i n t y about what c o n s t i t u t e s t e n a b i l i t y with respect to a moral theory. These i s s u e s r e l a t e to q u e s t i o n s of methodology. One q u e s t i o n concerning methodology i n v o l v e s the s t a t u s of i n t u i t i o n s ( i n the sense of ' r e f l e c t i v e judgements') in a s s e s s i n g moral t h e o r i e s and p r i n c i p l e s . Chapter one, Moral  Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s , examines the r o l e of i n t u i t i o n s in theory assessment and, i n p a r t i c u l a r , whether i t i s p o s s i b l e to a v o i d t o t a l l y t h e i r employment. T h i s q u e s t i o n i s e x p l o r e d with r e f e r e n c e to the views of Peter Singer and John Rawls. The p o s s i b i l i t y of using the d i s t i n c t i o n between meta-ethics and normative e t h i c s to a v o i d r e l i a n c e on i n t u i t i o n s i s c o n s i d e r e d . Chapter two, A Formulation of AU, u t i l i z e s the d i s t i n c t i o n s among agent, a c t i o n and motive to present act u t i l i t a r i a n i s m i n the s t r o n g e s t p o s s i b l e l i g h t . T h i s i n v o l v e s d i s c u s s i o n of whether i t i s more p l a u s i b l e to i i understand a c t u t i l i t a r i a n i s m i n terms of a c t u a l or probable consequences. F i n d i n g n e i t h e r account s a t i s f a c t o r y , a fundamental q u e s t i o n r e l e v a n t to both models i s then e x p l o r e d — w h a t i s the purpose of moral c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i t s e l f ? With c e r t a i n p r o v i s i o n s , however, we r e t u r n i n the end to an a c t u a l consequences model fo r purposes of f u r t h e r e x p l o r a t i o n . Chapter three, AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s , examines the issue of whether act u t i l i t a r i a n i s m i s s e l f - d e f e a t i n g . While i t i s not s t r i c t l y s e l f - d e f e a t i n g , act u t i l i t a r i a n i s m does i n c o r p o r a t e a c e r t a i n 'brinkmanship' with v a l u a b l e moral norms which damages i t s p l a u s i b i l i t y . The d i s t i n c t i o n between decision-making procedures and rightness-making c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s becomes important at t h i s po i n t . Act u t i l i t a r i a n i s m ' s account of moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y seems to reduce the moral agent to a u t i l i t y conductor and maximizer. Chapter four, The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y  Machine, focuses on t h i s problem, as w e l l as r e l a t e d i s s u e s concerning b a s i c v a l u e s and the a c t s / o m i s s i o n s d i s t i n c t i o n . Chapter f i v e , AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y , examines Bernard W i l l i a m s ' c r i t i c i s m s of act u t i l i t a r i a n i s m i n terms of i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r negative r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and i n t e g r i t y . Two d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s by prominant p h i l o s o p h e r s of W i l l i a m s ' c r i t i c a l suggestions about u t i l i t a r i a n i s m and i n t e g r i t y are examined and both are. found to be inadequate. Chapter s i x , AU and I n t e g r i t y , e x p l o r e s f u r t h e r the nature of a c t u t i l i t a r i a n i s m ' s t h r e a t to i n t e g r i t y . Act u t i l i t a r i a n i s m ' s c o n s t r u a l of moral agency threatens the pe r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y of the moral agent by r e q u i r i n g the s a c r i f i c e of p e r s o n a l p r o j e c t s and commitments, and, with them, the near abandonment of the p e r s o n a l s e l f . Since m o r a l i t y i s supposed to be f o r persons, t h i s i s a c r i p p l i n g o b j e c t i o n . i v TABLE OF CONTENTS A b s t r a c t i i Acknowledgements v i i I. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s 1 A. Methodology and O b j e c t i v i t y 1 B. An Analogy With "Truth" 14 C. Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s 20 D. Meta-ethics and I n t u i t i o n s 29 I I . A Formulation of AU 35 A. . The Purpose of AU 35 B. A c t u a l and Probable Consequences 39 C. The I n s t r u m e n t a l i s t Aspect of Moral C l a s s i f i c a t i o n 49 D. A c t u a l Consequences and P r o b a b i l i t y C o n s i d e r a t i o n s 59 I I I . AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s 64 A. Hodgson on AU's S e l f - d e f e a t ingness 64 B. Singer's Reply: A Standard AU Response 69 C. AU and the Problem of Cooperation 76 D. AU: Decision-procedure and/or Rightness-making T r a i t 88 E. AU, Famine R e l i e f and Indeterminacy 93 IV. The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine 105 A. AU and the R e i t e r a t i v e Argument 105 B. AU and U t i l i t y Maximization 116 C. AU and Basic Values 124 D. AU and Omissions 131 V . AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y 138 A. AU, Negative R e s p o n s i b i l i t y and I n t e g r i t y ... 139 B. Two I n t e r p r e t a t i o n s 144 1. S c h e f f l e r ' s I n t e r p r e t a t i o n 144 2. Honderich's I n t e r p r e t a t i o n 155 VI. AU and I n t e g r i t y 159 A. AU Moral Agents and Moral S a i n t s 159 B. Personal I d e n t i t y , Personal R e l a t i o n s and Personal I n t e g r i t y 168 C. AU and the Supremacy of M o r a l i t y 175 D. A Dilemma: U n a t t r a c t i v e n e s s or Disharmony? .. 178 E. AU and S o c i e t a l I n t e g r i t y 186 Summary and Conclusion 195 v S e l e c t e d B i b l i o g r a p h y ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Many people have supported and helped me durin g the w r i t i n g of t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n . Without the i n t e l l e c t u a l , emotional and f i n a n c i a l support of these i n d i v i d u a l s I would not have reached t h i s p o i n t . I am g r a t e f u l to them a l l . I would e s p e c i a l l y l i k e to thank my s u p e r v i s o r , Dr. E a r l Winkler. His support, encouragement and pa t i e n c e were u n f a i l i n g , and i t i s l a r g e l y due to h i s e f f o r t s that I have made i t through the proc e s s . The d i s s e r t a t i o n has a l s o b e n e f i t e d c o n s i d e r a b l y from the c r i t i c i s m s of Dr. Gary Wedeking. I would a l s o l i k e to acknowledge the f i n a n c i a l support of an Izaak Walton K i l l a m Memorial P r e d o c t o r a l F e l l o w s h i p d u r i n g p a r t of the w r i t i n g of t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n . v i i I. MORAL METHODOLOGY AND INTUITIONS The s u b s t a n t i v e moral p r i n c i p l e of act u t i l i t a r i a n i s m i s the subj e c t of numerous d i s p u t e s and c o n t r o v e r s i e s . f There are d i s p u t e s i n t e r n a l to an AU framework which concern what a proper a p p l i c a t i o n of AU r e q u i r e s . Such d i s p u t e s i n v o l v e the acceptance of AU as a g e n e r a l l y adequate moral theory, though one with c e r t a i n problems of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and employment. Other d i s p u t e s are of a d i f f e r e n t nature, and concern the o v e r a l l t e n a b i l i t y , as opposed to the a p p l i c a t i o n , of AU. A. METHODOLOGY AND OBJECTIVITY Questions about the t e n a b i l i t y of AU as an account of moral a c t i o n are s i g n i f i c a n t i n ways which extend beyond the is s u e of AU i t s e l f . Peter Singer notes the importance that a t t a c h e s t o such concerns. The c r i t e r i o n by which we decide to r e j e c t , say, u t i l i t a r i a n i s m i n favour of a c o n t r a c t u a l theory of j u s t i c e (or v i c e versa) i s , i f anything, even more fundamental than the c h o i c e of theory i t s e l f , s i n c e our ch o i c e of moral theory may w e l l be determined by the c r i t e r i o n we use. $ Not on l y are such methodological i s s u e s more fundamental than d i s p u t e s i n v o l v i n g the a p p l i c a t i o n of AU, i t i s a l s o t Throughout the course of t h i s w r i t i n g the a b b r e v i a t i o n 'AU' w i l l be used f o r 'act u t i l i t a r i a n i s m ' and 'act u t i l i t a r i a n ' . $ Singer(3) : p. 490. 1 Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 2 unc l e a r how we are to r e s o l v e them. The need f o r r e s o l u t i o n , however, i s h i g h l i g h t e d when one c o n s i d e r s that disagreements concerning the s t r e n g t h of p a r t i c u l a r c r i t i c i s m s i n v o l v i n g AU are o f t e n t r a c e a b l e to the acceptance of a l t e r n a t i v e methodological c r i t e r i a . The d i f f e r e n t a t t i t u d e s taken toward counterexamples serve to i l l u s t r a t e the absence of a shared methodology. R o l f S a r t o r i u s , f o r example, i s h i g h l y c r i t i c a l of employing counterexamples as a means of a s s e s s i n g AU. A c t - u t i l i t a r i a n i s m has come to seem to me to have such great i n i t i a l p l a u s i b i l i t y so as to be v i r t u a l l y immune from being d i s c r e d i t e d by means of i s o l a t e d c o u n t e r e x a m p l e s — t h e u n p r i n c i p l e d potshots of those moral " p h i l o s o p h e r s " who are e i t h e r u n w i l l i n g or unable to defend a l t e r n a t i v e t h e o r i e s of t h e i r own. f By c o n t r a s t , other p h i l o s o p h e r s r e l y on counterexamples as a c e n t r a l form of c r i t i c a l argument. In d i s c u s s i n g AU, Fred Feldman notes the f o l l o w i n g . We have now c o n s i d e r e d s e v e r a l d i f f e r e n t o b j e c t i o n s to act u t i l i t a r i a n i s m . In each case, i t was a l l e g e d that some a c t i o n , or kind of a c t i o n , r e c e i v e s an i n c o r r e c t e v a l u a t i o n under [AU], O b j e c t i o n s such as these must be weighed c a r e f u l l y . $ C l e a r l y , S a r t o r i u s and Feldman have, very d i f f e r e n t a t t i t u d e s about the power of arguments from counterexamples to a f f e c t the q u e s t i o n of the t e n a b i l i t y of the general theory of AU. f S a r t o r i u s ( 1 ) : p. 33. $ Feldman(2): p. 60. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 3 The p l a c e that i n t u i t i o n s occupy i n t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e methodologies may account f o r t h i s d i f f e r e n c e . While S a r t o r i u s forswears any appeals to i n t u i t i o n s , Feldman openly r e l i e s on them. Acco r d i n g to Feldman, such appeals p l a y an e s s e n t i a l r o l e i n a s s e s s i n g moral t h e o r i e s . Each reader must r e f l e c t , i n regard to each o b j e c t i o n , whether the r e s u l t s of the a p p l i c a t i o n of [AU] are c o r r e c t , or whether the i n t u i t i o n s of the o b j e c t o r s are c o r r e c t . Aside from t h i s appeal to the i n t u i t i o n s of i m p a r t i a l , r e f l e c t i v e , and c a r e f u l i n d i v i d u a l s , there seems to be no way to determine whether act u t i l i t a r i a n i s m has been r e f u t e d , f T h i s p o s i t i o n suggests the i n e s c a p a b i l i t y of a methodology that r e l i e s on people's i n t u i t i o n s and c o n s i d e r e d moral judgements to serve as a f i n a l t e s t of a moral theory's t e n a b i l i t y . A c c o r d i n g to Singer, such r e l i a n c e on i n t u i t i o n i s f a l l a c i o u s and, t h e r e f o r e , much standard c r i t i c i s m of AU l a c k s f o r c e . Commenting g e n e r a l l y on c r i t i c i s m s of AU, he remarks: Much of the c r i t i c i s m has been i n c o n c l u s i v e because i t has c o n s i s t e d of the o u t l i n i n g of unusual s i t u a t i o n s , i n which the a p p l i c a t i o n of a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n i s m i s s a i d t o give r e s u l t s which c o n f l i c t with our "o r d i n a r y moral c o n v i c t i o n s . " T h i s method of argument can never move anyone who has g r e a t e r confidence i n the a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n p r i n c i p l e than i n h i s "o r d i n a r y moral c o n v i c t i o n s . " Whenever the c o n f l i c t i s a r e a l one, and not t Feldman(2): p. 60. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 4 merely an apparent c o n f l i c t , dependent on the omission of f a c t o r s which the a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n can and should take i n t o account, the genuine a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n w i l l be prepared to j e t t i s o n h i s "o r d i n a r y moral c o n v i c t i o n s " rather than the p r i n c i p l e of a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n i s m , f The c o n t r a s t between the two accounts i s s t r i k i n g . S i n g e r ' s account r e q u i r e s that ' o r d i n a r y moral c o n v i c t i o n s ' always be subordinate t o the AU p r i n c i p l e , while the a l t e r n a t i v e methodology employs i n t u i t i o n s as a fundamental c r i t e r i o n f o r a s s e s s i n g AU. Such a c o n t r a s t h i g h l i g h t s the n e c e s s i t y of c l a r i f y i n g what c o n s t i t u t e s adequate c r i t e r i a of e v a l u a t i o n f o r moral t h e o r i e s . In p a r t i c u l a r , t h i s b a s i c d i s p u t e over the r o l e of ' i n t u i t i o n ' and 'ordin a r y moral c o n v i c t i o n s ' r e q u i r e s e x p l a n a t i o n and d i s c u s s i o n . What leads Singer, and o t h e r s , to deny 'ordinary moral c o n v i c t i o n s ' any s i g n i f i c a n t p l a c e i n an adequate methodology? A v a r i e t y of concerns have been r a i s e d with respect to ' i n t u i t i o n s ' . R i chard Hare, f o r example, contends that no weight attaches to ' i n t u i t i o n s ' because they are a r e s u l t of our upb r i n g i n g and are thus open to the charge of being p r e j u d i c e d . What prima f a c i e p r i n c i p l e s ought we to adopt? What i n t u i t i o n s ought we to have? On these q u e s t i o n s the r h e t o r i c of r i g h t s sheds no l i g h t whatever, any more than do appeals to i n t u i t i o n ( i . e . to p r e j u d i c e , i . e . to the prima f a c i e p r i n c i p l e s , good or bad, which our upbringings happen to have implanted i n f S i n g e r ( 2 ) : p. 94. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 5 us.) t Likewise, Singer r e f e r s to suspect o r i g i n s i n p o i n t i n g out the danger i n employing p a r t i c u l a r i n t u i t i v e judgements as methodological c r i t e r i a f o r a s s e s s i n g moral t h e o r i e s . Why should we not r a t h e r make the opposite assumption, that a l l the p a r t i c u l a r moral judgements we i n t u i t i v e l y make are l i k e l y to d e r i v e from d i s c a r d e d r e l i g i o u s systems, from warped views of sex and b o d i l y f u n c t i o n s , or from customs necessary f o r the s u r v i v a l of the group i n the d i s t a n t past? In which case, i t would be best to fo r g e t a l l about our p a r t i c u l a r moral judgements, and s t a r t again from as near as we can get to s e l f - e v i d e n t moral axioms. $ Singer contends that the AU p r i n c i p l e i s e i t h e r an axiom, or can be b u i l t up from axioms, while moral i n t u i t i o n s are c u l t u r a l l y i n s t i l l e d and are mere.prejudice. T h e r e f o r e , he b e l i e v e s that we should be guided by s e l f - e v i d e n t axioms and not by o r d i n a r y moral c o n v i c t i o n s based upon i n t u i t i o n . Proper methodology f o r the assessment of moral t h e o r i e s does not r e s t i n i n t u i t i o n s ; r a t h e r , i t c o n s i s t s i n determining whether a theory i n v o l v e s p r i n c i p l e s having the s t a t u s of s e l f - e v i d e n t moral axioms. S i n g e r ' s s u b o r d i n a t i o n of p a r t i c u l a r moral judgements to moral axioms r e p r e s e n t s one common approach to theory j u s t i f i c a t i o n i n moral p h i l o s o p h y . Norman D a n i e l s acknowledges t h i s approach, and i t s idea of the composition t Hare(6): p. 125. $ Singer(3) : p. 516. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 6 of moral theory i n the f o l l o w i n g : There i s a widely h e l d view that a moral theory c o n s i s t s of a set of moral judgements p l u s a set of p r i n c i p l e s that account f o r or generate them. T h i s t w o - t i e r e d view of moral t h e o r i e s has helped make the problem of theory acceptance or j u s t i f i c a t i o n i n e t h i c s i n t r a c t a b l e , u n l e s s , that i s , one i s w i l l i n g to grant p r i v i l e g e d e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l s t a t u s to the moral judgements ( c a l l i n g them " i n t u i t i o n s " ) or to the moral p r i n c i p l e s ( c a l l i n g them " s e l f - e v i d e n t " or otherwise a p r i o r i ) , f Given the suspect o r i g i n s of p a r t i c u l a r moral judgements, Singer contends that moral axioms have what D a n i e l s c a l l s ' p r i v i l e g e d e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l s t a t u s ' . T h i s g i v e s r i s e to q u e s t i o n s about the j u s t i f i c a t i o n of the axioms themselves and the nature of t h i s p r i v i l e g e d s t a t u s . t However, before c o n s i d e r i n g these i s s u e s , a more fundamental que s t i o n r e q u i r e s a t t e n t i o n . What c o n s t i t u t e s a s e l f - e v i d e n t moral axiom? More s p e c i f i c a l l y , how do s e l f - e v i d e n t moral axioms d i f f e r from b a s i c and g e n e r a l moral i n t u i t i o n s ? We need to determine what the term ' i n t u i t i o n ' has been taken to mean by those who want to ground moral t h e o r i e s on s e l f - e v i d e n t moral axioms. T h i s need to c l a r i f y the terms of d i s c u s s i o n becomes t D a n i e l s O ) : pp. 256-257. i There are a l s o q u e s t i o n s i n v o l v i n g the model i t s e l f and i t s i m p l i c i t f o u n d a t i o n a l approach to j u s t i f i c a t i o n . E i t h e r p a r t i c u l a r moral judgements are subordinate to moral axioms or moral axioms are subordinate to p a r t i c u l a r moral judgements. D a n i e l s may be r i g h t i n arguing f o r a model with a more complex s t r u c t u r e . Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 7 g l a r i n g when, as p r e v i o u s l y noted, Hare i s found t r e a t i n g ' i n t u i t i o n ' and ' p r e j u d i c e ' as i f they were synonymous. I t may be th a t ' s e l f - e v i d e n t moral axioms' are open to the same charge concerning ' p r e j u d i c e ' as i s ' i n t u i t i o n ' . That i s , once the term ' i n t u i t i o n ' has been c l a r i f i e d , i t may turn out that the o b j e c t i o n s r a i s e d with regard to ' i n t u i t i o n ' a l s o apply to p r i n c i p l e s having the s t a t u s of ' s e l f - e v i d e n t moral axioms'. Any r e s o l u t i o n of these q u e s t i o n s r e q u i r e s that the term ' i n t u i t i o n ' be d e l i n e a t e d and c l a r i f i e d . ' I n t u i t i o n ' does not have any uniform meaning or c o n s i s t e n t use, and one f i n d s i t employed i n a wide v a r i e t y of ways. Tom Regan p o i n t s out two senses of ' i n t u i t i o n ' that are e s p e c i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t i n the present c o n t e x t . A f t e r n o t i n g the senses of ' i n t u i t i o n ' that appear i n the works of G.E. Moore and W.D. Ross, Regan p o i n t s out a t h i r d sense of ' i n t u i t i o n ' that i s d i r e c t l y r e l e v a n t to the is s u e of p r e j u d i c e . f A t h i r d sense i n which ' i n t u i t i o n ' i s sometimes used i n moral ph i l o s o p h y i s to mean "our unexamined moral c o n v i c t i o n s , " i n c l u d i n g our i n i t i a l response or immediate r e a c t i o n s to hard moral cases. I t i s i n t h i s sense that the word i s used when people are asked, What are your i n t u i t i o n s ? , a f t e r an unusual case or s i t u a t i o n has been d e s c r i b e d (e.g., a case where a man has to k i l l and eat h i s own grandson i n order to s u r v i v e , and t According to Regan, ' i n t u i t i o n ' i s used by Moore to r e f e r to e t h i c a l p r o p o s i t i o n s that are 'incapable of p r o o f , and by Ross to r e f e r to ' s e l f - e v i d e n t ' moral t r u t h s . R e g a n ( 3 ) : p. 1 3 3 . Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 8 the q u e s t i o n i s whether he ought t o ) . ... For convenience, l e t us r e f e r to i n t u i t i o n s i n t h i s sense as p r e r e f l e c t i v e i n t u i t i o n s , f Of course, i t i s reasonable to conclude that i n t u i t i o n s are r e a l l y p r e j u d i c e s i f t h i s i s the sense of ' i n t u i t i o n ' t h a t i s meant. Regan goes on to p o i n t out another sense of ' i n t u i t i o n ' - - t h e r e f l e c t i v e s e n s e — w h i c h one a r r i v e s at a f t e r procedures of c l a r i f i c a t i o n and i m p a r t i a l , r a t i o n a l d e l i b e r a t i o n . The judgements we make a f t e r we have made t h i s e f f o r t are not our "gut responses," nor are they merely ex p r e s s i o n s of what we happen to b e l i e v e ; they are our c o n s i d e r e d b e l i e f s , b e l i e f s we h o l d when, and only when, we have done our best to be i m p a r t i a l , r a t i o n a l , c o o l , and so f o r t h . t T h i s sense r e f l e c t s the use of ' i n t u i t i o n ' as a methodological c r i t e r i o n f o r a s s e s s i n g " AU. The use of e x p r e s s i o n s l i k e 'ordinary moral c o n v i c t i o n s ' , w i t h i n the debate over proper methodology, leaves i t unclear which sense of ' i n t u i t i o n ' i s intended, and t h i s a l l o w s f o r the charge of ' p r e j u d i c e ' to be d i r e c t e d at the use of i n t u i t i o n as a c r i t e r i o n i n a s s e s s i n g moral t h e o r i e s . Ambiguity of t h i s nature f r e q u e n t l y p r o v i d e s the b a s i s f o r p h i l o s o p h i c a l c r i t i c i s m . For example, in d i s c u s s i n g t Regan ( 3 ): pp. 1 3 3 - 1 3 4 . t Regan ( 3 ): p. 134. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 9 p s y c h o l o g i c a l egoism, Singer c o n s i d e r s an ambiguity i n the term ' s e l f i s h ' which i s analogous to* Regan's p o i n t about ' i n t u i t i o n ' . Singer notes one i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of ' s e l f i s h ' , and a r e s u l t i n g d i f f i c u l t y f o r an advocate of p s y c h o l o g i c a l egoism. In the f i r s t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , to be s e l f i s h i s to take no account of the i n t e r e s t s of anyone e l s e , except when by doing so you can get more of what you want f o r y o u r s e l f . T h i s i s roughly what we u s u a l l y mean when we say that someone i s s e l f i s h , but i t i s very i m p l a u s i b l e to say that everyone i s always s e l f i s h i n t h i s sense. There are examples of people who do t h i n g s f o r others with no prospect of reward, ranging from p a t r i o t s who d i e f o r t h e i r country to v o l u n t e e r s who donate a p i n t of t h e i r blood to h e l p a s t r a n g e r . f The proponent of p s y c h o l o g i c a l egoism faces a dilemma. E i t h e r she abandons p s y c h o l o g i c a l egoism or f i n d s some way to i n c l u d e cases l i k e the blood donor w i t h i n i t s scope. T h i s r e q u i r e s an a l t e r n a t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ' of ' s e l f i s h ' . So p s y c h o l o g i c a l e g o i s t s o f t e n take a broader view of " s e l f i s h " behavior. They say that i f p a t r i o t s v o l u n t e e r f o r s u i c i d a l m i s s i o n s , that must show that they, want to d i e f o r t h e i r country more than they want to go on l i v i n g ; and i f blood donors give blood at no fee to a s t r a n g e r , that must be because they get s a t i s f a c t i o n from h e l p i n g s t r a n g e r s . $ Singer acknowledges that such a response i s open to the p s y c h o l o g i c a l e g o i s t but p o i n t s out that there i s a c o s t i n t Singer (8) : p. 1~27 . i S i n g e r ( 8 ) : p. 127. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 10 advocating such a p o s i t i o n . In t h i s second i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of " s e l f i s h " i t i s much more d i f f i c u l t to r e f u t e the c l a i m that everyone always a c t s s e l f i s h l y — b u t now that c l a i m has changed i t s meaning so r a d i c a l l y that i t i s no longer the b o l d c h a l l e n g e to more i d e a l i s t i c t h e o r i e s of human nature that i t at f i r s t seemed to be. T h i s r e f i n e d v e r s i o n of p s y c h o l o g i c a l egoism i s q u i t e compatible with d i s t i n g u i s h i n g between behavior that i s s e l f i s h i n the o r d i n a r y sense of the term and behavior that i s " s e l f i s h " only i n the p e c u l i a r sense i n which the person who would r a t h e r h e l p others than see them s u f f e r i s s e l f i s h . f Thus, the f o r c e of p s y c h o l o g i c a l egoism l a r g e l y i s l o s t once i t i s noted that ' s e l f i s h ' i s being employed i n a very d i f f e r e n t sense than u s u a l . C o n t i n u i n g the analogy with the concerns r a i s e d with res p e c t t o ' i n t u i t i o n ' , there i s an a d d i t i o n a l p o i n t of importance that Singer goes on to make. Th i s second sense of " s e l f i s h " i s so all-encompassing that i t serves no u s e f u l f u n c t i o n at a l l . If a l l behavior i s , i n t h i s sense, s e l f i s h , but some i s a l s o s e l f i s h i n the f i r s t , narrower sense, c l a r i t y w i l l be best served by r e s t r i c t i n g the term to i t s narrower meaning, which has the advantage of c o n t r a s t i n g some kinds of behavior with o t h e r s . $ Regan makes a s i m i l a r p o i n t regarding ' i n t u i t i o n ' and ' p r e j u d i c e ' . Regan argues that i t i s the f a i l u r e on the pa r t of c r i t i c s to keep the d i f f e r e n t senses of ' i n t u i t i o n ' f S i n g e r ( 8 ) : p. 127. i S i n g e r ( 8 ) : pp. 127-128. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 11 d i s t i n c t t h a t leads to the i n i t i a l p l a u s i b i l i t y of the charge of ' p r e j u d i c e ' . I f , a f t e r we have made a c o n s c i e n t i o u s e f f o r t to t h i n k about our b e l i e f s i d e a l l y , we are s t i l l s a i d to be p r e j u d i c e d , the n o t i o n of p r e j u d i c e has l o s t any c l e a r or h e l p f u l meaning. I n t e r p r e t e d i n t h i s way, e v e r y t h i n g that one b e l i e v e s would q u a l i f y as a p r e j u d i c e . When we appeal to our i n t u i t i o n s , i n the r e f l e c t i v e sense, there i s ample reason not to view them as p r e j u d i c e s , f Even a c c e p t i n g t h i s p o i n t , however, the q u e s t i o n remains concerning the proper r o l e of i n t u i t i o n i n the assessment of moral t h e o r i e s . That i s , even i f ' i n t u i t i o n ' i s taken to mean ' r e f l e c t i v e b e l i e f ' , and not ' p r e r e f l e c t i v e hunch' or ' p r e j u d i c e ' , i t seems l i k e l y that i n d i v i d u a l s who favour the methodological approach of Hare and Singer would r e t a i n the same p o s i t i o n about s u b o r d i n a t i n g i n t u i t i o n s to s e l f - e v i d e n t moral axioms. In f a c t , Hare's d i s c u s s i o n of the r o l e that ' i n t u i t i o n ' can play in an adequate methodology seems to a n t i c i p a t e Regan's s e n s i t i v i t y to d i f f e r e n t senses of ' i n t u i t i o n ' . At t h i s p o i n t some p h i l o s o p h e r s w i l l be ready to step in with t h e i r i n t u i t i o n s , and t e l l us t hat some d i s t r i b u t i o n s or ways of a c h i e v i n g d i s t r i b u t i o n s are o b v i o u s l y more j u s t than o t h e r s , or that everyone w i l l agree on r e f l e c t i o n t h a t they are. These p h i l o s o p h e r s appeal to our i n t u i t i o n s or p r e j u d i c e s i n support of the most widely d i v e r g e n t methods or p a t t e r n s of d i s t r i b u t i o n . ... I n t u i t i o n s t Regan(3): p. i~36. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 12 prove nothing; general consensus proves nothing; both have been used to support c o n c l u s i o n s which our i n t u i t i o n s and our consensus may w e l l f i n d outrageous, f Alon g s i d e the re f e r e n c e to ' p r e j u d i c e ' Hare emphasizes r e f l e c t i v e judgement. N e v e r t h e l e s s , he s t i l l maintains that ' i n t u i t i o n s ' are not u s e f u l because our ' i n t u i t i o n s ' , even in the sense of 'considered b e l i e f s ' , are a r e s u l t of our c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e . But one r e s u l t of t h i s p o s i t i o n would seem to be that no use of reason can escape the charge of p r e j u d i c e due to c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e . Reluctance to allow ' i n t u i t i o n ' to p l a y any r o l e i n the t e s t i n g of moral p r i n c i p l e s i s t r a c e a b l e to concerns about o b j e c t i v i t y . As Hare and others f r e q u e n t l y p o i n t out, there i s c o n s i d e r a b l e v a r i a t i o n i n the b e l i e f s t h a t are accepted in d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e s . But even i f there were u n i v e r s a l agreement, there would s t i l l be a problem. John Rawls advocates a methodology which, under c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s and at a c e r t a i n l e v e l of theory, i n v o l v e s moral consensus. With r e f e r e n c e to Rawls, Singer c l a i m s : There i s no sense i n which we can speak of a theory being o b j e c t i v e l y v a l i d , no matter what c o n s i d e r e d moral judgements people happen to h o l d . ... Even i f everyone shared the same c o n s i d e r e d moral judgement, t h i s would only mean that a theory might have i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e v a l i d i t y : i t would not make f o r o b j e c t i v e v a l i d i t y . People might have judged d i f f e r e n t l y , and then a d i f f e r e n t t Hare(6): p. 124. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 1 3 moral theory would have been " v a l i d " . f A c cording to Singer, to allow e i t h e r i n t u i t i o n s or c o n s i d e r e d moral judgements to p l a y a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n determining the v a l i d i t y of moral p r i n c i p l e s i s to commit ones e l f to a methodology that e n t a i l s moral s u b j e c t i v i s m . Leaving a s i d e the q u e s t i o n of whether t h i s i s a f a i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Rawls, i t i s u s e f u l to note why Singer views Henry Sidgwick as a v o i d i n g the charge of moral s u b j e c t i v i s m that Rawls i s supposedly open t o . Agreement, no matter how widespread i t may be, i s not a c r i t e r i o n f o r the t r u t h or v a l i d i t y of a normative theory. ... [Sidgwick] does not d e f i n e v a l i d i t y f o r a moral theory i n terms of agreement with our u l t i m a t e i n t u i t i o n s or i n terms of a match with our p a r t i c u l a r judgements. Therefore he i s not committed to the kind of s u b j e c t i v i s m that i s consequent upon any such d e f i n i t i o n of v a l i d i t y f o r a moral theory. $ Sidgwick does not d e f i n i t i o n a l l y t i e v a l i d i t y to i n t u i t i o n s or shared c o n s i d e r e d judgements. I t i s i n t h i s way that he avoids moral s u b j e c t i v i s m . Sidgwick's d e n i a l that the v a l i d i t y of a moral theory, or p r i n c i p l e , i s c o n s t i t u t e d by consensus i s what leads to the a l l e g e d l y sharp c o n t r a s t with Rawls. Common sense m o r a l i t y , r e p r e s e n t i n g as i t does the accumulated experience of mankind, i s a u s e f u l check on our i n t u i t i o n s of s e l f - e v i d e n t moral axioms; t S i n g e r ( 3 ) : pp. 4 9 4 - 4 9 5 . i S i n g e r ( 3 ) : pp. 5 1 4 - 5 1 5 . Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 14 but even when i t i s i n harmony with our own i n t u i t i o n s we may a f t e r a l l be mistaken. I t i s t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y ... that marks the d i s t i n c t i o n between the two a u t h o r s — f o r on Rawls's view, one c o u l d not even make sense of such a p o s s i b i l i t y . For Rawls, reaching t h i s k i n d of harmony i s the goal of moral philosophy; i t i s the d e f i n i t i o n of " v a l i d " so f a r as moral t h e o r i e s are concerned: f o r Sidgwick, i t i s the best p o s s i b l e insurance a g a i n s t e r r o r , but because our t a r g e t i s a moral theory which i s t r u e , and not merely i n harmony with our i n t u i t i o n s and common sense m o r a l i t y , we may s t i l l be i n e r r o r , f For the sake of the f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n , we can accept the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of Rawls and Sidgwick o f f e r e d by Singe r . The only q u a l i f i c a t i o n i s that the p o s i t i o n a t t r i b u t e d to Rawls should not be regarded as a form of ' s u b j e c t i v i s m ' . S u b j e c t i v i s m c l a s s i c a l l y denies that there are moral ' t r u t h s ' . Rawls' view i n v o l v e s something more o b j e c t i v i s t than t h i s . Thus, the a l t e r n a t i v e accounts are l a b e l l e d 'weak' o b j e c t i v i s m and 'strong' o b j e c t i v i s m . B. AN ANALOGY WITH "TRUTH" The d i s p u t e between Rawls and Singer l a r g e l y concerns what i t means to c l a i m that a moral theory i s 'true' or ' v a l i d ' . One can c l a r i f y the d i s p u t e by c o n t r a s t i n g how each of these p h i l o s o p h e r s c o n s t r u e s the bedrock or foundation of moral the o r y . Perhaps t h i s can be achieved best by developing an analogy between the issue that d i v i d e s Rawls t S i n g e r O ) : pp. 508-509. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 15 and Singer, and the d i s p u t e between coherence and correspondence t h e o r i e s of ' t r u t h ' i n epistemology. Intending to both c l a r i f y and expand upon Rawls' account of ' r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m ' , D a n i e l s advances the f o l l o w i n g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Rawls' o r i g i n a l n o t i o n . The method of wide r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m i s an attempt to produce coherence i n an ordered t r i p l e of s e t s of b e l i e f s _ h e l d by a p a r t i c u l a r person, namely, (a) a set of c o n s i d e r e d moral judgments, (b) a set of moral p r i n c i p l e s , and (c) a set of r e l e v a n t background t h e o r i e s . ... We can imagine the agent working back and f o r t h , making adjustments to h i s c o n s i d e r e d judgements, h i s moral p r i n c i p l e s , and h i s background t h e o r i e s . In t h i s way he a r r i v e s at an e q u i l i b r i u m p o i n t that c o n s i s t s of the ordered t r i p l e ( a ) , ( b ) , ( c ) . f Thus, moral theory i s understood as i n v o l v i n g an attempt to achieve ' e q u i l i b r i u m ' between three d i f f e r e n t elements.$ Th e r e f o r e , moral theory does not have any f i x e d foundation which i s not subject to p o s s i b l e a l t e r a t i o n and r e v i s i o n . A l l that one ever achieves i s ' p r o v i s i o n a l f i x e d p o i n t s ' . t D a n i e l s U ) : pp. 258-259. $ As D a n i e l s p o i n t s out, i f one c o n s t r u e s the e q u i l i b r i u m i n terms of the f i r s t two elements, then one i s working in terms of 'narrow' e q u i l i b r i u m . I t i s the i n c l u s i o n of the t h i r d element which pro v i d e s the b a s i s f o r the d i s t i n c t i o n between 'wide' and 'narrow' e q u i l i b r i u m . T h e - t h i r d element i s v i t a l to D a n i e l s ' attempt to r e s o l v e the d i f f i c u l t i e s he contends are a s s o c i a t e d with the t r a d i t i o n a l " t w o - t i e r e d view of moral t h e o r i e s " . Furthermore, i t i s important to note that such e q u i l i b r i u m may not ever be a t t a i n e d . The world may j u s t be too complicated and changing to allow a c h i e v i n g wide r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m , yet we keep seeking i t i n our t h e o r e t i c a l r e v i s i o n s . Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 16 The c r u c i a l i s s u e i s how wide r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m i s to be understood r e l a t i v e t o the t o p i c of v a l i d i t y . There are d i f f e r e n t ways to construe the r e l a t i o n but one important i n t e r p r e t a t i o n takes wide r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m to d e f i n e v a l i d i t y . On t h i s understanding i t i s s t a b l e e q u i l i b r i u m i t s e l f t h a t c o n s t i t u t e s v a l i d i t y f o r a moral t h e o r y . t Singer r e j e c t s such a view. A c c o r d i n g to Singer, e q u i l i b r i u m cannot c o n s t i t u t e v a l i d i t y f o r t h i s would e n t a i l t h a t there i s no o b j e c t i v e v a l i d i t y because "people might have judged d i f f e r e n t l y , and then a d i f f e r e n t moral theory would have been v a l i d " . Apparently, S i n g e r ' s conception of ' o b j e c t i v e v a l i d i t y ' r e q u i r e s that moral t r u t h must e x i s t independently of human thought and b e l i e f . In some sense, Singer seeks a correspondence between a judgement and some 'moral f a c t ' that e x i s t s in the world independently of our thought and judgement about i t . V a l i d i t y cannot be d e f i n e d i n terms of e q u i l i b r i u m , f o r i t i s p o s s i b l e that there c o u l d be more than one system of moral thought t h a t c o u l d achieve t D a n i e l s himself seems to r e j e c t t h i s view. There i s some reason to think that D a n i e l s understands wide r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m i n terms of p r o v i d i n g evidence and j u s t i f i c a t i o n , and not as d e f i n i n g v a l i d i t y f o r a moral theory. In one d i s c u s s i o n of wide r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m , D a n i e l s c l a i m s the f o l l o w i n g i n a f o o t n o t e . " I f we construe wide r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m as p r o v i d i n g us with the b a s i s f o r a f u l l - b l o w n coherence theory of moral j u s t i f i c a t i o n , then my argument suggests that i t fa c e s the same d i f f i c u l t i e s and advantages as coherence t h e o r i e s of nonmoral j u s t i f i c a t i o n . I cannot here defend my view that a coherence theory of j u s t i f i c a t i o n can be made compatible with a noncoherency account of t r u t h . " D a n i e l s ( l ) : p. 277. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 17 e q u i l i b r i u m . In s h o r t , v a l i d i t y r e q u i r e s t r u t h ; and t r u t h r e q u i r e s correspondence. Si n g e r ' s c r i t i c i s m of r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m p a r a l l e l s one of Bertrand R u s s e l l ' s o b j e c t i o n s to the coherence theory of ' t r u t h ' . R u s s e l l c l a i m s t h a t , "... there i s no reason to suppose that only one coherent body of b e l i e f s i s p o s s i b l e . ... Thus, coherence as the d e f i n i t i o n of t r u t h f a i l s because there i s no proof that there can only be one coherent system".f T h i s o b j e c t i o n hinges on the idea that there must be something o u t s i d e of the systems of b e l i e f t h a t makes one and only one system t r u e . So, t r u t h cannot be d e f i n e d i n terms of coherence. T h i s c l a i m i s d i r e c t l y analogous to S i n g e r ' s c l a i m that s i n c e people c o u l d judge d i f f e r e n t l y and, as a r e s u l t , e q u i l i b r i u m c o u l d be e s t a b l i s h e d i n a d i f f e r e n t p l a c e , wide r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m cannot be what c o n s t i t u t e s v a l i d i t y i n moral theory. One proponent of the coherence theory of ' t r u t h ' i s F r a n c i s H. Bradley, and he o f f e r s the f o l l o w i n g response to the type of o b j e c t i o n which R u s s e l l advances. 'But.', i t may s t i l l be o b j e c t e d , 'my fancy i s u n l i m i t e d . I can t h e r e f o r e invent an imaginary world even more o r d e r l y than my known world. ... To t h i s p o s s i b l e o b j e c t i o n , I should r e p l y f i r s t , that i t has probably f a i l e d to understand r i g h t l y the c r i t e r i o n which I defend. The aspect of comprehensiveness has not r e c e i v e d here i t s due emphasis. The idea of system demands the i n c l u s i o n t R u s s e l l ( 1 ) : p. 71. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 18 of a l l p o s s i b l e m a t e r i a l . Not only must you i n c l u d e e v e r y t h i n g to be gained from immediate experience and p e r c e p t i o n , but you must a l s o be ready to act on the same p r i n c i p l e with regard to fancy, f Bradley's response q u e s t i o n s whether there r e a l l y can be two e q u a l l y coherent systems of thought that are e q u a l l y comprehensive with respect to a l l p o s s i b l e evidence and experience. The same issue i s r e l e v a n t with respect to S i n g e r ' s c l a i m that e q u i l i b r i u m might be "found at d i f f e r e n t p l a c e s " . Since a l l c o n s i d e r e d judgements are r e v i s a b l e , the judgement " I t i s wrong to i n f l i c t p ain g r a t u i t o u s l y on another person" i s , too. But we can a l s o e x p l a i n why i t i s so hard to imagine not a c c e p t i n g i t , so hard that some t r e a t i t as a necessary t r u t h . To imagine r e v i s i n g such a p r o v i s i o n a l f i x e d p o i n t we must imagine a v a s t l y a l t e r e d wide r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m that n e v e r t h e l e s s i s much more ac c e p t a b l e than our own. For example, we might have to imagine persons q u i t e u n l i k e the persons we know. $ E s s e n t i a l l y , the p o i n t of D a n i e l s can be taken to c h a l l e n g e Singer's c l a i m that there c o u l d be more than one comprehensive system of moral thought i n wide r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m . Thus, the p a r a l l e l d i s p u t e s over what c o n s t i t u t e s ' t r u t h ' i n epistemology and ' v a l i d i t y ' i n moral thought i n v o l v e analogous q u e s t i o n s with respect to the issue of comprehensiveness. t B r a d l e y ( 2 ) : p. 2 1 4 . i D a n i e l s ( 1 ) : p. 2 6 7 . Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 19 Disputes concerning 'weak' and 'strong' o b j e c t i v i s m in moral theory are of the same s t r u c t u r e as d i s p u t e s i n v o l v i n g coherence and correspondence t h e o r i e s of ' t r u t h ' in epistemology. Proponents of correspondence argue that coherence permits the p o s s i b i l i t y of a m u l t i p l i c i t y of e q u a l l y coherent systems, and t h i s i s incompatible with the essence of ' t r u t h ' . In response, advocates of coherence contend that a c h i e v i n g a f u l l y s t a b l e and comprehensive coherence w i l l not allow f o r such m u l t i p l i c i t y . So, ' t r u t h ' can be d e f i n e d i n terms of coherence. However, i t i s important to note that both t h e o r i e s of ' t r u t h ' r e l y upon the n o t i o n of coherence i n s i g n i f i c a n t ways. The coherence theory d e f i n e s ' t r u t h ' i n terms of coherence, while the correspondence theory, a c c o r d i n g to R u s s e l l , a l l o w s t h a t , "... coherence cannot be accepted as g i v i n g the meaning of t r u t h , though i t i s o f t e n a most important t e s t of t r u t h a f t e r a c e r t a i n amount of t r u t h has become known".f The analogous d i s p u t e i n moral philosophy i n v o l v e s whether i n t u i t i o n s p r o v i d e a t e s t f o r the t r u t h of a moral theory or whether the idea of shared r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m i n v o l v i n g i n t u i t i o n s c o n s t i t u t e s t r u t h i n the moral realm. In other words, does s t a b l e e q u i l i b r i u m provide the d e f i n i t i o n of t r u t h f o r a moral theory or does i t o n l y provide j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r b e l i e v i n g that a moral theory i s true? In t R u s s e l K 1 ) : p. 71 . Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 20 which case what i s t r u t h i n morals? F o r t u n a t e l y , s i n c e our present concern i s the r o l e p l a y e d by i n t u i t i o n s i n 'weak' and 'strong' o b j e c t i v i s m , r e s o l u t i o n of t h i s d i s p u t e i s not necessary. N e v e r t h e l e s s , the meaning/evidence d i s t i n c t i o n remains c r u c i a l to the d i s c u s s i o n of i n t u i t i o n s . C. METHODOLOGY AND INTUITIONS The two p o s i t i o n s on the nature of moral o b j e c t i v i t y , represented by Rawls and Sidgwick, need to be c o n s i d e r e d i n r e l a t i o n to two q u e s t i o n s . The f i r s t q u e s t i o n i s meta p h y s i c a l ; the second i s e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l . F i r s t , what makes a moral p r i n c i p l e v a l i d ? And second, how does one know that a moral p r i n c i p l e i s v a l i d ? t The purpose of examining these two q u e s t i o n s and the r e l a t i o n s between them i s to ca s t g r e a t e r l i g h t on the iss u e between 'weak' and 'strong' o b j e c t i v i s m . Our d i s c u s s i o n w i l l a l s o serve to c l a r i f y the r o l e that i n t u i t i o n p l a y s w i t h i n each of the a l t e r n a t i v e s . U l t i m a t e l y , both views inescapably r e q u i r e the use of i n t u i t i o n . 'Weak' o b j e c t i v i s m answers the f i r s t q u e s t i o n by saying that v a l i d i t y i s a complex f u n c t i o n of shared b e l i e f . Such an answer r e f l e c t s a metaphysical concern to allow a concept of '.truth' f o r morals without any o n t o l o g i c a l commitment to moral ' f a c t s ' that are b u i l t i n t o the world independently of f For the present d i s c u s s i o n , ' v a l i d ' and 'true' s h a l l be taken to be synonymous. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 21 moral agents. Thus, the t r u t h of a moral p r i n c i p l e i s t i e d c o n c e p t u a l l y to the f a c t that we b e l i e v e the p r i n c i p l e to be t r u e , or that we would b e l i e v e i t to be true under c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s . t From the answer given to the f i r s t q u e s t i o n , i t i s easy to see that the second q u e s t i o n i s d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to i t . If shared, r a t i o n a l i z e d b e l i e f i s what makes a p r i n c i p l e t r u e , then we w i l l seek to know whether a p r i n c i p l e i s true through c o n s u l t i n g our r a t i o n a l l y conformed b e l i e f s . ' The t r u t h of a moral p r i n c i p l e i n v o l v e s c o n s u l t i n g r e f l e c t i v e i n t u i t i o n s . Requirements i n terms of i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e agreement need to be imposed. And one a l s o needs to supplement the amount and kind of agreement r e q u i r e d with s p e c i f i c requirements on the procedure f o r reaching agreement, l i k e conformity with our best understanding of human nature and psychology and so f o r t h . T h i s i s , on S i n g e r ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , the proper way to understand Rawls' n o t i o n of r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m . Thus, the 'weak' o b j e c t i v i s t p o s i t i o n r e q u i r e s that i n t u i t i o n p l a y a r o l e i n the process that d e f i n e s and e s t a b l i s h e s the t r u t h t I t should be noted that evidence f o r the b e l i e f can be i n d i r e c t i n that c e r t a i n other b e l i e f s may be e x p l a i n e d by a s c r i b i n g b e l i e f i n the p r i n c i p l e to the agent. The agent might then be s a i d to b e l i e v e the p r i n c i p l e as w e l l , but t h i s c o u l d be a very i m p l i c i t , unconscious b e l i e f , as opposed to one the agent would immediately and u n h e s i t a n t l y avow. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 22 of moral p r i n c i p l e s . f 'Strong' o b j e c t i v i s m imagines i t s e l f to stand in sharp c o n t r a s t to 'weak' o b j e c t i v i s m . The c o n t r a s t concerns a d i f f e r e n t conception of what i s i n v o l v e d i n ' t r u t h ' i n morals. While 'weak' o b j e c t i v i s m attempts to preserve moral ' t r u t h ' without o n t o l o g i c a l commitment, 'strong' o b j e c t i v i s m e n t a i l s an o n t o l o g i c a l commitment to the e x i s t e n c e of moral ' t r u t h s ' that e x i s t independently of what moral agents thi n k i s m o r a l l y c o r r e c t even under i d e a l c o n s t r a i n t s . There are a v a r i e t y of ways in which 'strong' o b j e c t i v i s m can answer the f i r s t q u e s t i o n , but the e s s e n t i a l component of any a p p r o p r i a t e l y 'strong' o b j e c t i v i s t answer w i l l be that t r u t h i s independent of human thought and b e l i e f . But, however we are to understand t h i s i d e a , any such answer to our f i r s t q u e s t i o n must recognize the a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s of our second q u e s t i o n . T h i s concerns how one can determine which moral p r i n c i p l e s are true independent of moral agents. The d i f f i c u l t y of p r o v i d i n g an answer to t h i s q u e s t i o n i s a l l u d e d to by Singer- i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n of Sidgwick. As Singer p o i n t s out, i n t u i t i o n p r o v i d e s the b a s i c evidence f o r the t r u t h of a moral p r i n c i p l e . t I t i s more accurate to speak of the ' p r o v i s i o n a l ' t r u t h of moral p r i n c i p l e s , as opposed to the t r u t h of moral p r i n c i p l e s . The 'weak' o b j e c t i v i s t p o s i t i o n , construed i n terms of 'wide' r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m , e n t a i l s that there are no p r i n c i p l e s whose t r u t h i s f i x e d i n a manner that p r e c l u d e s r e v i s i o n i n the l i g h t of f u t u r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 23 Sidgwick would admit t h a t , i n the end, we have nothing to f a l l back on other than c a r e f u l c o n s i d e r a t i o n of whether some fundamental p r i n c i p l e r e a l l y i s i n t u i t i v e l y c l e a r and c e r t a i n (though we may be able to support our i n t u i t i o n s to some extent by a comparison with common • sense m o r a l i t y ) . f Thus, the answer to the q u e s t i o n of how one knows that a moral p r i n c i p l e i s true f i n a l l y r e s t s on an appeal to r e f l e c t i v e i n t u i t i o n . T h i s r e s u l t may be postponed by c l a i m i n g that the t r u t h of the p a r t i c u l a r p r i n c i p l e i s a r e s u l t of i t s f o l l o w i n g from more fundamental p r i n c i p l e s , i . e . from other s e l f - e v i d e n t moral axioms. The q u e s t i o n then concerns how one knows the t r u t h of these moral axioms. U l t i m a t e l y , the answer w i l l have to r e s t i n r e f l e c t i v e i n t u i t i o n . There i s simply no means of a v o i d i n g some appeal to i n t u i t i o n i n grounding b e l i e f i n fundamental moral p r i n c i p l e s . R e c a l l i n g t hat the purpose of 'strong' o b j e c t i v i s m i s to a r r i v e at a 'true' moral theory which stands independently of i n t u i t i o n , the u l t i m a t e e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l grounding of moral axioms i n i n t u i t i o n s r e s u l t s i n a dilemma f o r the 'strong' o b j e c t i v i s t . Obviously, i f 'strong' o b j e c t i v i s m were to c l a i m that the t r u t h of the moral axioms can be d e f i n e d i n terms of i n t u i t i o n , then 'strong' o b j e c t i v i s m would be abandoned. Such a view would c o l l a p s e the d i s t i n c t i o n between our two ques t i o n s i n the same way f Singer(3) : p. 514. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 24 that 'weak' o b j e c t i v i s m does. On the other hand, m a i n t a i n i n g 'strong' o b j e c t i v i s m by p r e s e r v i n g the d i s t i n c t i o n between ' i s t r u e ' and ' i s b e l i e v e d t r u e ' r e s u l t s i n other d i f f i c u l t i e s . The r o l e of i n t u i t i o n , when the d i s t i n c t i o n i s maintained, i s to pro v i d e evidence f o r the t r u t h of the moral axioms. However, i f i n t u i t i o n i s understood as a source of evidence, and there i s no other source p o s s i b l e , then there i s no means f o r s e t t l i n g d i s p u t e s with re s p e c t to the t r u t h of moral axioms.f When d i f f e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l s c l a i m to know the t r u t h of c o n f l i c t i n g moral axioms on the b a s i s of i n t u i t i o n , there i s no method a v a i l a b l e (even i n p r i n c i p l e ) f o r s e t t l i n g the qu e s t i o n of who i s r i g h t and who i s wrong. One has ended up i n a s i t u a t i o n where there i s no p o s s i b l e means of c r o s s i n g the gap between ' i s t r u e 1 and ' i s b e l i e v e d t r u e ' . 'Strong' moral o b j e c t i v i s m attempts to maintain a d i s t i n c t i o n between ' i s t r u e ' and ' i s b e l i e v e d t r u e 1 (by r a t i o n a l agents, under i d e a l c o n s t r a i n t s ) with respect to moral p r i n c i p l e s . T h i s r e s u l t s i n there being no p o s s i b l e means to determine r a t i o n a l l y that a given p r i n c i p l e i s i n f a c t t r u e . In c o n t r a s t , 'weak' moral o b j e c t i v i s m does not maintain a thoroughgoing d i s t i n c t i o n between ' i s t r u e ' and t T h i s i s c l e a r l y too s t r o n g . Notions such as c o n s i s t e n c y , f o r example, w i l l have a r o l e to play i n c o n s i d e r i n g such disagreements. But d i f f e r e n c e s i n fundamental i n t u i t i o n can be expected to s u r v i v e a l l such a d d i t i o n a l bases f o r c r i t i c i s m . Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 25 ' i s b e l i e v e d t r u e ' . I t allows r e f l e c t i v e and consensual i n t u i t i o n to p l a y a r o l e i n the a c t u a l d e f i n i t i o n of a true moral p r i n c i p l e . Both of the views are committed to the use of i n t u i t i o n at some p o i n t i n t h e i r a l t e r n a t i v e methodologies. The former uses i n t u i t i o n as evidence f o r l e a p i n g the gap between epistemology and metaphysics, while the l a t t e r i n c o r p o r a t e s i n t u i t i o n i n t o a d e f i n i t i o n of moral t r u t h which denies the d i s t i n c t i o n between epistemology and metaphysics with respect to moral p r i n c i p l e s . 'Weak' o b j e c t i v i s m uses i n t u i t i o n as a c r i t e r i o n f o r t r u t h , and 'strong' o b j e c t i v i s m uses i n t u i t i o n as a c r i t e r i o n f o r j u s t i f i e d b e l i e f or knowledge. We may now c o n s i d e r a f i n a l o b j e c t i o n to methodological r e l i a n c e on i n t u i t i o n . Singer c l a i m s t h a t , "Our moral c o n v i c t i o n s are not r e l i a b l e data f o r t e s t i n g e t h i c a l t h e o r i e s . We should work from sound t h e o r i e s to p r a c t i c a l judgements, not from our judgements to our t h e o r i e s . " t Regan c h a r a c t e r i z e s the view that Singer advocates, and the c o r r e s p o n d i n g c r i t i c i s m of the use of i n t u i t i o n , in the f o l l o w i n g manner. A f i n a l c r i t i c i s m a g a i n s t using appeals to i n t u i t i o n s as a means of v a l i d a t i n g e t h i c a l p r i n c i p l e s — a n d t h i s perhaps i s the most b a s i c c r i t i c i s m - - i s that t h i s way of viewing our i n t u i t i o n s has t h i n g s backwards. Rather than a p p e a l i n g to i n t u i t i o n s to t e s t e t h i c a l t h e o r i e s , we ought to appeal to a sound theory to t S i n g e r ( 7 ) : p. 3 2 7 . j Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 26 t e s t our i n t u i t i o n s , t Regan goes on to argue two p o i n t s . The f i r s t i s that Singer has f a i l e d to provide a sound moral theory, while the second i n s i s t s that Singer does, in f a c t , make appeals to i n t u i t i o n . $ Regan takes t h i s to amount to a burden-of-proof argument, where the onus i s on Singer to show that i t i s p o s s i b l e f o r h i s methodology to produce an adequate moral theory. Given the p r e v i o u s d i s c u s s i o n , however, a stronger c o n c l u s i o n may be drawn. Not only has Singer f a i l e d to provide a moral theory which i s f r e e from the use of i n t u i t i o n s , i t i s impossible to p r o v i d e such a theory. Even on S i n g e r ' s approach, i n t u i t i o n must enter at the l e v e l of j u s t i f y i n g the adoption of p a r t i c u l a r moral axioms. Singer might respond by c l a i m i n g that there i s a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between i n t u i t i o n s t h a t r e l a t e to the moral axioms, and other i n t u i t i o n s . Crudely put, S i n g e r ' s proposed methodology would then amount to the f o l l o w i n g : f i n d the moral axioms that are known on the b a s i s of r e f l e c t i v e i n t u i t i o n ; generate the consequences of these axioms; f o l l o w them, and f o r c e y o u r s e l f to ignore whatever p a r t i c u l a r i n t u i t i o n s you may have about those consequences. Such a t Regan(3): p. 140. i Regan r e f e r s the reader to S i n g e r ( 6 ) : p. 87. When one c o n s u l t s the r e f e r e n c e i n q u e s t i o n , one f i n d s that Singer makes more than one appeal to a statement's being i n 'harmony with our i n t u i t i v e judgements'. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 27 view seems to be best understood as the methodology of moral geometry, where the consequences of the axioms can only be t e s t e d by r e f e r e n c e back to the axioms. I t i s worth n o t i n g one consequence of such a methodology. Counterexamples to a moral p r i n c i p l e , or axiom, are l o g i c a l l y i m p o s s i b l e . Singer c r i t i c i z e s Rawls on the grounds that the method of r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m i s dangerous because i t tends to allow p a r t i c u l a r i n t u i t i v e judgements too much weight. However, i t i s perhaps e q u a l l y dangerous to contend that such judgements are i r r e l e v a n t and have no weight. P u t t i n g the issue of methodology a s i d e f o r a moment, the q u e s t i o n a r i s e s as to whether there i s any s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between i n t u i t i o n s i n regard to the axioms and those that r e l a t e to p a r t i c u l a r judgements. J.J.C. Smart i s aware of the p o t e n t i a l problems i n a s s i g n i n g weight to i n t u i t i o n s when they concern p r i n c i p l e s , but not when they r e l a t e to p a r t i c u l a r c a ses. Admittedly u t i l i t a r i a n i s m does have consequences which are incompatible with the common moral consciousness, but I tended to take the view "so much the worse f o r the common moral consciousness". That i s , I was i n c l i n e d to r e j e c t the common methodology of t e s t i n g general e t h i c a l p r i n c i p l e s by seeing how they square with our f e e l i n g s in p a r t i c u l a r i n s t a n c e s . ... I t i s undeniable that we do have a n t i - u t i l i t a r i a n moral f e e l i n g s i n p a r t i c u l a r cases, but perhaps they should be di s c o u n t e d as f a r as p o s s i b l e , as due to our moral c o n d i t i o n i n g i n c h i l d h o o d . (The weakness of t h i s l i n e of Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 28 thought i s t h a t approval of the g e n e r a l p r i n c i p l e of u t i l i t a r i a n i s m may be due to moral c o n d i t i o n i n g too. And even i f benevolence were i n some way a ' n a t u r a l ' , not an ' a r t i f i c i a l ' a t t i t u d e , t h i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n c o u l d at best have p e r s u a s i v e f o r c e , without any c l e a r r a t i o n a l e . To argue from the n a t u r a l n e s s to the c o r r e c t n e s s of a moral a t t i t u d e would be to commit the n a t u r a l i s t i c f a l l a c y . ) t There i s an important poin t made i n t h i s passage. Through e x p l i c i t mention of the ' n a t u r a l i s t i c f a l l a c y 1 Smart makes r e f e r e n c e to the d i s t i n c t i o n between meta-ethics and normative e t h i c s . One p o s s i b l e o b j e c t i o n to the e n t i r e l i n e of thought pursued i n t h i s d i s c u s s i o n i s that i t f a i l s to a p p r e c i a t e t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n . In p a r t i c u l a r , an a p p r e c i a t i o n of t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n may allow' f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y of m a i n t a i n i n g that moral axioms can be known without r e f e r e n c e to i n t u i t i o n . Hare seems to h o l d such a p o s i t i o n . There can a l s o be another ... kind of i n t u i t i o n i s t - - o n e who i n t u i t s the v a l i d i t y of a s i n g l e p r i n c i p l e or ordered system of them, or a s i n g l e method, and e r e c t s h i s e n t i r e s t r u c t u r e of moral thought on t h i s . Sidgwick might come i n t o t h i s c a t e g o r y — t h o u g h i f he were l i v i n g today, i t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t he would f i n d i t necessary to r e l y on moral i n t u i t i o n . $ The sense of ' i n t u i t i o n ' used here i s unclear but i t seems that the reason Sidgwick might not f i n d i t necessary to r e l y on moral i n t u i t i o n depends upon the d i s t i n c t i o n between f Smart(2): p. 68. $ Hare(5): p.146. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 29 meta-ethics and normative e t h i c s . Given the r e j e c t i o n of i n t u i t i o n by Hare and o t h e r s , coupled with the c o n c l u s i o n reached here that i n t u i t i o n has a p l a c e i n a s s e s s i n g moral t h e o r i e s , i t i s necessary to t u r n to a d i s c u s s i o n of the d i s t i n c t i o n between meta-ethics and normative e t h i c s . We need to determine i f the employment of t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n a llows f o r the e l i m i n a t i o n of a l l r e l i a n c e on i n t u i t i o n , where i n t u i t i o n i s understood to mean i m p a r t i a l , r e f l e c t i v e judgement. Such e l i m i n a t i o n , i f p o s s i b l e , might serve to j u s t i f y the moral geometric methodology proposed by S i n g e r . D. META-ETHICS AND INTUITIONS In the face of the argument that r e l i a n c e on i n t u i t i o n s i s unavoidable and that the methodology of moral geometry i s t h e r e f o r e unacceptable, the advocate of moral geometry seems to be l e f t with only one a l t e r n a t i v e . One might contend that there i s an e s s e n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e between general and p a r t i c u l a r i n t u i t i o n s . T h i s seems dubious s i n c e , as Smart p o i n t s out, acceptance of e i t h e r general or p a r t i c u l a r i n t u i t i o n s may i n v o l v e s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n i n g . f Thus, given the n e c e s s i t y of i n t u i t i o n s , i t seems p r e f e r a b l e to endorse a methodology that allows room f o r some r e l i a n c e on both kinds t Smart's o b s e r v a t i o n a l s o serves to undercut S i n g e r ' s sweeping c l a i m that "... i t would be best to f o r g e t a l l about our p a r t i c u l a r moral judgements, and s t a r t again from as near as we can get to s e l f - e v i d e n t moral axioms". S i n g e r O ) : p. 516. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 30 of i n t u i t i o n s . However, i t might be claimed t h a t , appearances notwithstanding, the d i s t i n c t i o n between meta-ethics and normative e t h i c s does serve to j u s t i f y the use of g e n e r a l i n t u i t i o n s as methodological c r i t e r i a , while a l l o w i n g f o r the r e j e c t i o n of p a r t i c u l a r i n t u i t i o n s . The l e a d i n g idea would be to e s t a b l i s h enough at the normative l e v e l on the b a s i s of m e t a - e t h i c a l a n a l y s i s to a v o i d r e l i a n c e on p a r t i c u l a r i n t u i t i o n s . Since Hare so s t r o n g l y o b j e c t s to the employment of i n t u i t i o n s , i t i s a p p r o p r i a t e to c o n s i d e r h i s m e t a - e t h i c a l account i n order to determine to what extent i t avoids r e l i a n c e on p a r t i c u l a r i n t u i t i o n s . Hare's view, known as ' p r e s c r i p t i v i s m ' , i s a l i k e l y candidate f o r a view which r e s t r i c t s appeals to i n t u i t i o n s i n normative e t h i c s . The r u l e s of moral reasoning are ... p r e s c r i p t i v i t y and u n i v e r s a l i z a b i l i t y . ... I f , when we c o n s i d e r some proposed a c t i o n , we f i n d t h a t , when u n i v e r s a l i z e d , i t y i e l d s p r e s c r i p t i o n s which we cannot accept, we r e j e c t t h i s a c t i o n as a s o l u t i o n to our moral p r o b l e m — i f we cannot u n i v e r s a l i z e the p r e s c r i p t i o n , i t cannot become an 'ought'.f Hare t h i n k s that the deep s t r u c t u r e of moral reasoning, as embodied i n o r d i n a r y moral t h i n k i n g , r e v e a l s the m e t a - e t h i c a l p r i n c i p l e s of p r e s c r i p t i v i t y and u n i v e r s a l i z a b i l i t y . To c l a r i f y and i l l u s t r a t e Hare's account, i t i s u s e f u l t Hare(2): pp. 89-90. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 31 to c o n s i d e r the l i n e of argument which Hare presents as being r e l e v a n t to an i n d i v i d u a l who i s c o n s i d e r i n g whether he 'ought' to break a promise that he has made to a dying i n d i v i d u a l . Is he prepared to p r e s c r i b e u n i v e r s a l l y t h a t people should act i n t h i s way? ... Now i t seems to me that he has very good reason to r e f u s e to accept t h i s u n i v e r s a l p r e s c r i p t i o n . The reason can be brought out by a s k i n g him to imagine h i m s e l f on h i s deathbed, in the same s i t u a t i o n as that d e s c r i b e d . ... Most of us would be extremely averse to being deceived i n t h i s way; and we should t h e r e f o r e be very f a r from a c c e p t i n g the u n i v e r s a l p r e s c r i p t i o n that r e q u i r e s i t , f The d e t e r m i n a t i o n of whether one 'ought' to keep one's promise to the dying man, a c c o r d i n g to Hare, i n v o l v e s the l o g i c of 'ought'. Since the l o g i c of ought i n v o l v e s u n i v e r s a l p r e s c r i p t i o n , one ought to keep one's promise unless one i s prepared to have everyone i n the same s i t u a t i o n break t h e i r promise as w e l l . In p a r t i c u l a r , t h i s would i n c l u d e the case where one was i n the p o s i t i o n of the dying i n d i v i d u a l . To see why Hare's meta-ethics cannot provide the b a s i s f o r e l i m i n a t i n g a l l r e l i a n c e on p a r t i c u l a r i n t u i t i o n s , i t i s i l l u m i n a t i n g to c o n s i d e r t h i s case f u r t h e r . Even g r a n t i n g Hare the v a l i d i t y of h i s m e t a - e t h i c a l a n a l y s i s , one cannot draw any p a r t i c u l a r c o n c l u s i o n concerning what the content t Hare(2): p. 134. Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 32 of the u n i v e r s a l p r e s c r i p t i o n would be i n the example under c o n s i d e r a t i o n . There i s no d i f f i c u l t y i n imagining cases i n which one person would u n i v e r s a l l y p r e s c r i b e the breaking of the promise, while another would advocate the opp o s i t e u n i v e r s a l p r e s c r i p t i o n . ! In n e i t h e r case would i t be p o s s i b l e to c l a i m that one, or the other, i n d i v i d u a l had v i o l a t e d the conceptual c o n s t r a i n t s a s s o c i a t e d with the s t r u c t u r e of moral reasoning. Thus, i f normative debate u l t i m a t e l y i s intended to r e l a t e to p r a c t i c a l d e c i s i o n s that manifest themselves i n a c t i o n , then Hare's m e t a - e t h i c a l a n a l y s i s alone cannot serve to generate p a r t i c u l a r normative c o n c l u s i o n s . There must be something i n a d d i t i o n to m e t a - e t h i c a l a n a l y s i s and an understanding of the p a r t i c u l a r case that i s r e l i e d upon i n normative e t h i c a l reasoning. Hare himself suggests what the e x t r a r e l i a n c e i n v o l v e s . In saying that the "... reason can be brought out by ask i n g him to imagine hi m s e l f on h i s deathbed, i n the same s i t u a t i o n " , Hare i s sa y i n g , i n e f f e c t , that i n d i v i d u a l s employ t h e i r r e f l e c t i v e judgement i n c o n s i d e r i n g what d e c i s i o n s they would be w i l l i n g to u n i v e r s a l l y p r e s c r i b e . While he does not t T h i s c l a i m does need to be q u a l i f i e d i n an important way. There i s no d i f f i c u l t y i n imagining d i f f e r e n t u n i v e r s a l p r e s c r i p t i o n s . However, such d i f f i c u l t y e x i s t s when the cases are completely s i m i l a r . If 'completely s i m i l a r cases' i s i n t e r p r e t e d so as to i n c l u d e s i t u a t i o n s i n which each person's conscience d i c t a t e s the same course of a c t i o n , then i t w i l l be d i f f i c u l t to understand how t h e i r u n i v e r s a l p r e s c r i p t i o n s can c o n s i s t e n t l y be d i f f e r e n t . Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 33 e x p l i c i t l y use the term ' i n t u i t i o n ' , given the c o n s t r u a l of i n t u i t i o n s i n terms of r e f l e c t i v e judgements, Hare's a s s e r t i o n amounts to the c l a i m that one must appeal to i n t u i t i o n s i n order to supplement m e t a - e t h i c a l a n a l y s i s . So, i n d e c i d i n g whether one can t o l e r a t e u n i v e r s a l i z a t i o n , one i s f o r c e d to r e l y on imagi n a t i o n and i n t u i t i o n s concerning what one would or would not accept. Hare, d e s p i t e h i s negative c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of i n t u i t i o n s , u l t i m a t e l y s t i l l employs them to supplement h i s m e t a - e t h i c a l theory i n order to allow f o r the g e n e r a t i o n of p a r t i c u l a r normative c o n c l u s i o n s . The meta-ethics/normative e t h i c s d i s t i n c t i o n cannot serve to e l i m i n a t e , or even s u b s t a n t i a l l y reduce, r e l i a n c e on i n t u i t i o n s . The d i s t i n c t i o n was o r i g i n a l l y i n t r o d u c e d i n order to attempt to j u s t i f y the methodology of moral geometry re g a r d i n g moral p r i n c i p l e s and t h e o r i e s . Given the f a i l u r e of the d i s t i n c t i o n t o f u l f i l l t h i s f u n c t i o n , combined with Smart's p o i n t about the s i m i l a r s t a t u s of g e n e r a l and p a r t i c u l a r i n t u i t i o n s , there i s no j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r moral geometry's r e j e c t i o n of p a r t i c u l a r i n t u i t i o n s . Such a r e s u l t i s not r e a l l y s u r p r i s i n g . The e v a l u a t i o n of p r i n c i p l e s and t h e o r i e s i n s c i e n c e , f o r example, i n v o l v e s a procedure that seems to p a r a l l e l Rawls' account of r e f l e c t i v e e q u i l i b r i u m . J u s t as there i s no reason to r e q u i r e a geometric methodology f o r s c i e n t i f i c reasoning, Moral Methodology and I n t u i t i o n s / 34 there seems to be no reason to demand such a methodology f o r moral reasoning. Thus, a method must be employed which allows weight to both general and p a r t i c u l a r i n t u i t i o n s in a s s e s s i n g moral theory. I I . A FORMULATION OF AU The d i s c u s s i o n now turns away from the e x p l i c i t c o n s i d e r a t i o n of moral methodology and the d i s t i n c t i o n between meta-ethics and normative e t h i c s . We w i l l take up a d i r e c t examination of the s u b s t a n t i v e normative p r i n c i p l e of AU, adopting the f o l l o w i n g f o r m u l a t i o n . An act i s r i g h t i f and only i f the consequences of performing i t are at l e a s t as good as the consequences a s s o c i a t e d with the performance of any a l t e r n a t i v e act open to the agent, f T h i s f o r m u l a t i o n h i g h l i g h t s two important d i s t i n c t i o n s that have to be c r i t i c a l l y d i s c u s s e d . The m o r a l i t y of the a c t must be kept d i s t i n c t from the m o r a l i t y of the agent. And consequences of a c t i o n s must be c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e d i n terms of e i t h e r a c t u a l or probable consequences. I t i s a l s o important to c l a r i f y the nature and f u n c t i o n of AU, p r e s e n t i n g the p o s i t i o n as f a i r l y and s t r o n g l y as p o s s i b l e . T h i s e x e r c i s e w i l l i n troduce c o n s i d e r a t i o n s that become r e l e v a n t i n the l a t e r examination of AU. A. THE PURPOSE OF AU The purpose of AU i s to provide an account of what c o n s t i t u t e s r i g h t a c t i o n . T h i s purpose must be kept c l e a r l y i n focus. For the moral realm i s complex and i n c l u d e s e q u a l l y c e n t r a l q u e s t i o n s p e r t a i n i n g to the moral assessment t S a r t o r i u s ( 1 ) : p. 18. 35 A Formulation of AU / 36 of motives, i n t e n t i o n s and the c h a r a c t e r of moral agents. Feldman uses the f o l l o w i n g s c e n a r i o to emphasize the importance of keeping such i s s u e s d i s t i n c t . Suppose an a s s a s s i n i s t r y i n g to murder a beloved r e l i g i o u s l e a d e r . The shot misses, i t h i t s a rock, and out flows some o i l . Those watching check more c l o s e l y , and they d i s c o v e r a p r e v i o u s l y unknown o i l reserve c o n t a i n i n g enough o i l to make them a l l r i c h and happy. Everyone then shares i n the wealth, and l i v e s h a p p i l y ever a f t e r . In t h i s case, the act had a t e r r i b l e motive, but i t n e v e r t h e l e s s produced a tremendous amount of u t i l i t y , f a r more than would have been produced by anything e l s e the a s s a s s i n c o u l d have done i n s t e a d . A c c o r d i n g to [AU], what he d i d was mo r a l l y r i g h t ! f A f a i l u r e to keep c e r t a i n moral q u e s t i o n s d i s t i n c t helps to e x p l a i n the f e e l i n g of shock that such cases engender f o r common sense.$ As Smart and other defenders of AU i n s i s t , there i s a d i f f e r e n c e between the m o r a l i t y of a c t i o n s , which AU i s designed to e v a l u a t e , and qu e s t i o n s i n v o l v i n g the assessment of the c h a r a c t e r and motive of the agent. What we do need i s a p a i r of terms of a p p r a i s a l f o r agents and motives. I suggest that we use terms 'good' and 'bad' f o r these purposes. A good agent i s one who a c t s more n e a r l y i n a g e n e r a l l y o p t i m i f i c way than the average. A bad agent i s one who a c t s i n f Feldman(2): p. 37. $• I t should be noted that Feldman's s c e n a r i o p o r t r a y s AU s t r i c t l y i n terms of a c t u a l consequences. An understanding of AU i n terms of probable consequences produces a d i f f e r e n t r e s u l t . A Formulation of AU / 37 a l e s s o p t i m i f i c way than the average. A good motive i s one which g e n e r a l l y r e s u l t s i n b e n e f i c e n t a c t i o n s , and a bad motive i s one which g e n e r a l l y ends i n m a l e f i c i e n t a c t i o n s . f If AU i s to have any p l a u s i b i l i t y , such d i s t i n c t i o n s must be maintained and employed. Smart makes the p o i n t that i s necessary i n defending AU a g a i n s t cases l i k e that of the a s s a s s i n . C l e a r l y there i s no i n c o n s i s t e n c y i n saying that on a p a r t i c u l a r o c c a s i o n a good man d i d the wrong a c t i o n , that a bad man d i d a r i g h t a c t i o n , that a r i g h t a c t i o n was done from a bad motive, or that a wrong a c t i o n was done from a good motive. Many specious arguments a g a i n s t u t i l i t a r i a n i s m come from obscu r i n g these d i s t i n c t i o n s . $ Within an AU framework, to c l a i m that the a s s a s s i n ' s a c t i o n was ' r i g h t ' does not i n v o l v e , and should not be confused with, the cl a i m s that the motive was good or that the a s s a s s i n has a good moral c h a r a c t e r . There i s an a d d i t i o n a l p o i n t of importance i l l u s t r a t e d by the a s s a s s i n case. The AU c l a i m that an a c t i o n i s r i g h t does not i n v o l v e any commitment to p r a i s i n g the agent. According to AU, the a s s a s s i n ' s a c t i o n was r i g h t , but there i s no reason, and i t probably would be i n a p p r o p r i a t e , to p r a i s e him f o r the a c t i o n . P r a i s i n g a person i s thus an important a c t i o n i n i t s e l f - - i t has s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t s . A u t i l i t a r i a n must t h e r e f o r e f Smart(2): p. 48. i Smart(2): p. 48. A Formulation of AU / 38 l e a r n to c o n t r o l h i s a c t s of p r a i s e and d i s p r a i s e , thus perhaps c o n c e a l i n g h i s approval of an a c t i o n when he t h i n k s that the expre s s i o n of such approval might have bad e f f e c t s , and perhaps even p r a i s i n g a c t i o n s of which he does not r e a l l y approve.! P r a i s i n g i s i t s e l f an act which can have important consequences, as i n r e i n f o r c i n g behaviour and encouraging the same behaviour i n o t h e r s . The case i n v o l v i n g the a s s a s s i n concerns a r i g h t a c t i o n that should not be p r a i s e d . Smart c o n s i d e r s a case where the a c t i o n i s wrong, but should be p r a i s e d . For example, a man near Berchtesgaden i n 1938 might have jumped i n t o a r i v e r and rescued a drowning man, only to f i n d that i t was H i t l e r . He would have done the wrong t h i n g , f o r he would have saved the world a l o t of t r o u b l e i f he had l e f t H i t l e r below the s u r f a c e . On the other hand h i s motive, the d e s i r e to save l i f e , would have been one which we approve of people having: i n g e n e r a l , though not i n t h i s case, the d e s i r e to save l i f e leads to a c t i n g r i g h t l y . I t i s worth our while to strengthen such a d e s i r e . Not only should we p r a i s e the a c t i o n (thus e x p r e s s i n g our approval of i t ) but we should perhaps even g i v e the man a medal, thus encouraging others to emulate i t . $. In t h i s manner Smart i l l u s t r a t e s the importance of m a i n t a i n i n g a c l e a r and sharp d i s t i n c t i o n between the r i g h t n e s s , or u t i l i t y , of an a c t i o n and the r i g h t n e s s , or u t i l i t y , of p r a i s e and blame. t Smart(2): pp. 49-50. i Smart(2): p. 49. A Formulation of AU / 39 Proponents of AU are in a p o s i t i o n , they contend, to e x p l a i n and defuse much of the i n i t i a l n egative r e a c t i o n to AU stemming from cases l i k e that i n v o l v i n g the a s s a s s i n . AU i s designed to provide an account of r i g h t a c t i o n . However, the i n i t i a l r e a c t i o n s that people have to moral s c e n a r i o s o f t e n i n v o l v e more than r e a c t i o n s to the Tightness or wrongness of the a c t i o n . Reactions concern the c h a r a c t e r of agents and t h e i r m o t i v a t i o n s as w e l l as the a c t i o n s themselves. Once the d i s t i n c t i o n s among agent, motive and a c t i o n are e x p l i c i t l y acknowledged, and the f a c t that AU only concerns the l a t t e r i s recognized, no negative r e a c t i o n to AU should remain. F i n a l l y , the d i s t i n c t i o n between the u t i l i t y of the a c t i o n and the u t i l i t y of p r a i s i n g the a c t i o n can serve to e l i m i n a t e any r e s i d u a l h e s i t a t i o n about the AU assessment of a c t i o n s . B. ACTUAL AND PROBABLE CONSEQUENCES At t h i s p o i n t our d i s c u s s i o n t urns to the c l a r i f i c a t i o n of an important c o n s i d e r a t i o n with r e s p e c t to how AU a c t u a l l y f u n c t i o n s . As D.H. Hodgson notes, there are two d i s t i n c t ways to construe consequences w i t h i n an AU framework. I t i s p o s s i b l e to conceive of AU i n terms of e i t h e r a c t u a l or probable consequences. Hodgson p r e s e n t s the main reason why one might construe u t i l i t a r i a n i s m i n terms of probable consequences. A Formulation of AU / 40 U t i l i t a r i a n p r i n c i p l e s may be d i v i d e d i n t o those which r e f e r to a c t u a l consequences of a c t s or r u l e s , and those which r e f e r to t h e i r probable or f o r e s e e a b l e or foreseen consequences. ... The p r i n c i p a l argument i n favour of having some p r o b a b i l i t y q u a l i f i c a t i o n i n respe c t of consequences i s that an agent c o u l d not be expected to know what the a c t u a l consequences of a c t s or r u l e s would be. t The p r e v i o u s f o r m u l a t i o n of AU was i n terms of an AU a c t u a l consequences model (AC model). An AU probable consequences (PC model) r e p l a c e s r e f e r e n c e to a c t u a l r e s u l t s with probable r e s u l t s . An act i s r i g h t i f and only i f the probable consequences of performing i t are at l e a s t as good as the probable consequences a s s o c i a t e d with the performance of any a l t e r n a t i v e a ct open to the agent. An e l a b o r a t i o n of Smart's case of the man who saves the drowning H i t l e r can be used to i l l u s t r a t e both how a PC model f u n c t i o n s and the m o t i v a t i o n that leads to i t . Edward i s walking beside a r i v e r and n o t i c e s that a man i s drowning. Edward i s an accomplished swimmer, so there i s l i t t l e danger of Edward himself drowning i f he goes to the man's a i d . What should Edward do? According to the PC model, the r i g h t t h i n g to do would be to save the drowning man. The probable, or f o r e s e e a b l e , consequences of saving a drowning person are such that i t i s reasonable to expect that that a c t i o n w i l l promote the g r e a t e s t good. As h i s t o r y w i l l l a t e r t Hodgson(1) : pp. 12-13. A Formulation of AU / 41 show, i t i s very unfortunate that the a c t u a l consequences prove to be d i s a s t r o u s , s i n c e the drowning man i s H i t l e r . However, that does not a l t e r the c o n c l u s i o n that Edward's a c t i o n would be r i g h t . So, p u t t i n g a s i d e q u e s t i o n s about moral c h a r a c t e r , motive and p r a i s e , the PC model concludes that the r i g h t a c t i o n f o r Edward i s to save the drowning man. Smart's e v a l u a t i o n of t h i s case i s d i f f e r e n t . The d i f f e r e n c e r e s t s i n the f a c t that Smart employs an AC model. Edward d i d the wrong t h i n g i n saving the man s i n c e h i s a c t i o n had d i s a s t r o u s , though unfo r e s e e a b l e , r e s u l t s . Since the a c t i o n d i d not promote the g r e a t e s t good, i t was wrong. T h i s assessment i s i n the s p i r i t of the f o l l o w i n g c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . A u t i l i t a r i a n would s u r e l y not, f o r example, be i n c l i n e d to c a l l an act with d i s a s t r o u s consequences r i g h t , simply because the agent d i d not foresee these consequences, or because, due to d e f e c t s i n the s c i e n t i f i c knowledge of the time, these consequences were not reasonably f o r e s e e a b l e or probable on the b a s i s of that knowledge, f T h i s c o n t e n t i o n a l s o r e c a l l s the importance of the e a r l i e r d i s c u s s i o n about the d i s t i n c t i o n s among agents, motives and a c t i o n s . Smart's assessment p r o v i d e s a c l e a r example of how a proponent of AU, o p e r a t i n g i n terms of a c t u a l consequences, needs to employ these d i s t i n c t i o n s . The a c t i o n f Hodgson (1 ) : p. i~3. A Formulation of AU / 42 was wrong but the agent should not be blamed and no one c o u l d j u s t i f i a b l y conclude that the agent had bad motives or a bad c h a r a c t e r . Smart contends that there i s no need to construe AU i n terms of probable, as opposed to a c t u a l , consequences. The m o t i v a t i o n f o r such a c o n s t r u a l can be s a t i s f i e d through the e x p l i c i t employment of these d i s t i n c t i o n s . And the d i s t i n c t i o n s need to be employed, a c c o r d i n g to Smart, s i n c e many "specious arguments a g a i n s t u t i l i t a r i a n i s m " come from f a i l i n g to a p p r e c i a t e these d i s t i n c t i o n s . S a r t o r i u s i s s e n s i t i v e to the need to e x e r c i s e care when one employs a framework which i s c a s t i n terms of a c t u a l consequences. Put as i t i s . i n terms of the a c t u a l consequences of the performance of an a c t , t h i s i s a p r i n c i p l e of o b j e c t i v e T i g h t n e s s : i t operates most r e l i a b l y o n l y with the b e n e f i t of h i n d s i g h t . But there i s a l s o good sense to be made of saying of someone that "he d i d the r i g h t t h i n g , " even though what he d i d i n f a c t had bad consequences that c o u l d have been avoided had he chosen to do something e l s e . For i f he had good reason to b e l i e v e that what he d i d would have the best consequences, he d i d a l l that c o u l d reasonably be demanded of him. f The d i s t i n c t i o n between what S a r t o r i u s c a l l s ' o b j e c t i v e ' and ' s u b j e c t i v e ' Tightness i s designed to account f o r cases l i k e Edward saving the drowning H i t l e r . There i s some sense i n t S a r t o r i u s ( 1 ) : p. 18. A Formulation of AU / 43 which Edward d i d the r i g h t t h i n g , but only i n the sense of ' s u b j e c t i v e ' T i g h t n e s s . Doubtless, S a r t o r i u s i s c o r r e c t to make c l e a r , as does Smart, the need to d i s t i n g u i s h ' s u b j e c t i v e ' and ' o b j e c t i v e ' T i g h t n e s s . Presumably, the employment of the PC model i s supposed to ensure t h a t , given a reasonable e f f o r t p r i o r to the a c t , the moral agent i s not open to undue c r i t i c i s m r e s u l t i n g from a l a c k of knowledge concerning a c t u a l consequences. I t a l s o i s supposed to ensure that what i s m o r a l l y r i g h t a c t u a l l y i s knowable. So, the PC model i n v o l v e s two d i f f e r e n t m o t i v a t i o n s . M o r a l l y r e l e v a n t knowledge p e r t a i n i n g to consequences must be o b t a i n a b l e and i t must be reasonable to expect the agent to make, or to have made, the e f f o r t to o b t a i n t h a t knowledge. Both of these m o t i v a t i o n s r e s t upon acknowledging the p r a c t i c a l nature and importance of m o r a l i t y . M o r a l i t y becomes l e s s important, p r a c t i c a l l y speaking, as i t s requirements become i n c r e a s i n g l y unknowable. Since i t was impossible f o r Edward or anyone to know what the a c t u a l consequences of s a v i n g the man would be, i t i s h i g h l y c o u n t e r i n t u i t i v e to contend that Edward acted wrongly. To say, as S a r t o r i u s would i n such a case, that Edward 'd i d a l l that c o u l d reasonably be demanded of him' i s to say that i t i s i n a p p r o p r i a t e to blame Edward f o r h i s a c t i o n . The present suggestion i s that i f no blame i s a p p r o p r i a t e and i f he d i d e v e r y t h i n g that c o u l d p o s s i b l y be A Formulation of AU / 44 demanded of anyone, then i t i s more p l a u s i b l e to contend that the a c t i o n was r i g h t . So, Edward d i d the r i g h t t h i n g i n saving H i t l e r from drowning, d e s p i t e the f a c t that t h i n g s turned out badly, because the kind of knowledge r e q u i r e d to j u s t i f y l e t t i n g the man drown was impossible to have. Thus, under these c o n d i t i o n s , to i n s i s t that the a c t i o n was a c t u a l l y wrong, subverts the p r a c t i c a l , a c t i o n g u i d i n g f u n c t i o n of m o r a l i t y and moral c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . Smart contends that any advantages of a PC account can be p r e s e r v e d i n an AC model using the d i s t i n c t i o n s among agent, a c t i o n and motive. However, t h i s c o n t e n t i o n seems to miss the p o i n t . The AC model concludes t h a t Edward acted wrongly i n saving the drowning man. But i f he d i d e v e r y t h i n g that c o u l d p o s s i b l y be demanded of him; i f h i s motives and i n t e n t i o n s are deemed morally good; i f h i s c h a r a c t e r i s not open to q u e s t i o n ; and i f h i s a c t i o n should be rewarded with a medal, then what sense does i t make to contend that he acted wrongly? And, c r u c i a l l y , of what p r a c t i c a l u s e f u l n e s s i s such a c l a s s i f i c a t i o n ? Yet the very essence of m o r a l i t y i s that of a s o c i a l instrument f o r the guidance of conduct. T h i s c u t s to the root of the d i f f i c u l t y i n using the AC model. I t i s perhaps one t h i n g f o r someone, meaning w e l l enough, to do something with bad consequences due to c o r r e c t a b l e d e f i c i e n c e s i n a v a i l a b l e knowledge. But i t i s q u i t e another t h i n g to i d e n t i f y the r i g h t a c t i o n with A Formulation of AU / 45 whatever would have the best consequences, r e g a r d l e s s of whether there i s any way (even i n p r i n c i p l e ) of knowing at the time what t h i s might be. In c a l l i n g the f i r s t a c t i o n 'wrong' we may be s e r v i n g the o v e r a l l s o c i a l purpose of m o r a l i t y . By the second, we only subvert i t s p r a c t i c a l essence. The p r a c t i c a l nature of m o r a l i t y i s r e f l e c t e d i n the PC model's concerns with 'reasonable e x p e c t a t i o n ' . Not only must the consequences be knowable in p r i n c i p l e , i t a l s o must be reasonable to expect the agent to have a c q u i r e d that knowledge. The issue i n v o l v i n g 'reasonable e x p e c t a t i o n ' i s a complex one p r i n c i p a l l y i n v o l v i n g how much e f f o r t would be needed by the agent and whether anything i n the agent's experience would have, or should have, prompted the i n v e s t i g a t i o n necessary to a c q u i r e the r e l e v a n t knowledge. Ric h a r d i s a p h y s i c i a n i n the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y . He has been charged with the treatment of a young g i r l who has a very high f e v e r . R i c h a r d i s a d e d i c a t e d and competent p h y s i c i a n who s u b s c r i b e s to the accepted view that the best treatment f o r high fever i s b l e e d i n g the p a t i e n t . B l e e d i n g a l l o w s the poison that has f o u l e d the blood to be d r a i n e d from the body. So, R i c h a r d bleeds the young g i r l . She weakens f u r t h e r and d i e s s h o r t l y a f t e r the treatment.f The consequences of the a c t i o n were bad. But t h i s i s not to say that R i c h a r d had bad i n t e n t i o n s or that h i s moral c h a r a c t e r t I t i s assumed that the g i r l would have recovered i f the b l e e d i n g had not o c c u r r e d . A Formulation of AU / 46 i s open to q u e s t i o n . Of course, an AC model s t i l l concludes that Richard's a c t i o n was wrong. An PC model generates a d i f f e r e n t r e s u l t . Given the s t a t e of medicine at the time, there was s u f f i c i e n t reason to b e l i e v e that b l e e d i n g was the proper treatment. However, i t cannot be denied that the consequences of Richard's a c t i o n were un f o r t u n a t e . The q u e s t i o n then i s whether i t would be reasonable to expect R i c h a r d to have a c q u i r e d that i n f o r m a t i o n p r i o r to a c t i n g . Did Richard have any reason to suppose that what he was doing was not the best course of a c t i o n ? And even i f he d i d so suspect, c o u l d he have d i s c o v e r e d the t r u t h about the i n e f f e c t i v e n e s s of b l e e d i n g on h i s own at the time? The answer to both q u e s t i o n s c l e a r l y i s no. I t would not be reasonable to expect R i c h a r d to have a c q u i r e d , and to have acted upon, knowledge about the a c t u a l consequences of the p r a c t i c e of b l e e d i n g . So, an PC model concludes t h a t , i n so f a r as he was a c t i n g on the best i n f o r m a t i o n a v a i l a b l e at the time, Richard's a c t i o n was not wrong. W i l l i a m i s spending the summer with h i s daughter i n a c a b i n near a l a k e . On s e v e r a l o c c a s i o n s she has asked him to take her to the lake so she can swim, and today he agrees. The morning sky i s b r i g h t and c l e a r , and i t promises to be a b e a u t i f u l day. However, the weather turns f o u l , as i t almost never does at t h i s time of year, and the g i r l drowns. A Formulation of AU / 47 W i l l i a m ' s motive was good, but how i s the a c t i o n i t s e l f to be evaluated? An AC model p o r t r a y s W i l l i a m ' s a c t i o n as wrong, s i n c e the a c t i o n f a i l e d to maximize good. T h i s model h e a v i l y employs the act/agent/motive d i s t i n c t i o n s to blunt i t s seemingly c o u n t e r i n t u i t i v e assessment that W i l l i a m acted wrongly i n t a k i n g h i s daughter to swim.f W i l l i a m may not be blameworthy but n e v e r t h e l e s s h i s a c t i o n was wrong. C o n s i d e r i n g the s c e n a r i o i n terms of an PC model h i g h l i g h t s the d i f f e r e n t aspects - of the 'reasonable e x p e c t a t i o n ' i s s u e . Should W i l l i a m have a c q u i r e d the r e l e v a n t i n f o r m a t i o n about the weather p r i o r to a c t i n g ? The answer i s no. Since the weather was b r i g h t and c l e a r , and W i l l i a m had no reason to suppose any r e a l p o s s i b i l i t y of f o u l weather, i t would be unreasonable to expect him, f o r example, to have c a l l e d f o r a weather r e p o r t before going to the lake with h i s daughter. However, suppose i t comes to l i g h t that there had been a weather a d v i s o r y i n e f f e c t , and that the weather f o r e c a s t had p r e d i c t e d extremely f o u l weather. A l l that W i l l i a m needed to do to a c q u i r e t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n was to c a l l f o r a weather r e p o r t . The e f f o r t r e q u i r e d would have been minimal. T h i s h i g h l i g h t s an important f e a t u r e i n v o l v i n g the 'reasonable e x p e c t a t i o n ' q u e s t i o n . There can be cases i n which there i s no reason f o r f R e s i s t a n c e to such heavy employment may r e s t ( i n p a r t ) on c e r t a i n l i n g u i s t i c i n t u i t i o n s . In p a r t i c u l a r , i t seems hard to separate t o t a l l y 'Your a c t i o n was wrong' from 'You acted wrongly ( i . e . , you are to blame)'. A Formulation of AU / 48 the agent to think that there i s a d d i t i o n a l r e l e v a n t i n f o r m a t i o n but n e v e r t h e l e s s such i n f o r m a t i o n c o u l d e a s i l y be a c q u i r e d by the agent. So, 'could be known by the agent' does not e n t a i l 'should be known by the agent', as they i n v o l v e d i f f e r e n t f a c e t s of the q u e s t i o n of reasonable e x p e c t a t i o n . Since there i s r a r e l y f o u l weather on the lake and there was no reason f o r W i l l i a m to a n t i c i p a t e i t today, W i l l i a m d i d a l l that c o u l d reasonably be expected of him. Despite t h i n g s t u r n i n g out badly, W i l l i a m ' s a c t i o n was morally p e r m i s s i b l e on the PC model.f We have c o n s i d e r e d three s c e n a r i o s . In a l l three cases the consequences of the a c t i o n s were bad. T h i s i s s u f f i c i e n t f o r an AC model to conclude that the a c t i o n s were wrong. The agents may not be blameworthy or at f a u l t i n any way but n e v e r t h e l e s s t h e i r a c t i o n s were wrong. An PC model o f f e r s a d i f f e r e n t assessment of each case. Such a model i s intended to p r o t e c t the agent from u n r e a l i s t i c demands and to ensure that what i s morally r i g h t i s reasonably knowable. Since the probable outcome of saving a drowning person i s good, Edward's a c t i o n was r i g h t . Given the knowledge a v a i l a b l e at the time, Richard's act of b l e e d i n g the young g i r l was p e r m i s s i b l e . And f i n a l l y , s i n c e i t would have been unreasonable to expect that W i l l i a m check with the weather t 'Morally p e r m i s s i b l e ' i n v o l v e s nothing more in t h i s c l a i m than 'not m o r a l l y wrong'. No f u r t h e r a n a l y s i s of 'morally p e r m i s s i b l e ' i s assumed here. A Formulation of AU / 49 o f f i c e before going to the l a k e , h i s t a k i n g h i s daughter to swim was not m o r a l l y wrong. How i s one to choose between the two accounts? Though e i t h e r model can be adopted c o n s i s t e n t l y , we have a l r e a d y a l l u d e d to a fundamental c o n s i d e r a t i o n in favour of the PC model. T h i s concerns the f a c t t h a t m o r a l i t y i s an important s o c i a l instrument. Because a c t u a l consequences o f t e n can be completely unknowable, or s e r i o u s l y indeterminate, the AC model has d i f f i c u l t y i n accounting f o r the importance we a t t a c h to m o r a l i t y . Indeed, given i t s c o n s t r u a l of the r i g h t a c t i o n , why should we not be b e t t e r o f f p r a c t i c a l l y to abandon our i n t e r e s t i n the m o r a l l y r i g h t a c t i o n and concern o u r s e l v e s i n s t e a d with what merely seems r i g h t ? At l e a s t we would have a b e t t e r chance of d e c i d i n g what t h i s i s . C. THE INSTRUMENTALIST ASPECT OF MORAL CLASSIFICATION I t w i l l be h e l p f u l to expand on t h i s idea of the i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t nature of m o r a l i t y . I n s t r u m e n t a l i s t c o n s i d e r a t i o n s do not p r o v i d e an account of r i g h t a c t i o n per se. Rather they serve to underscore the f a c t that m o r a l i t y , as a s o c i a l p r a c t i c e , e x i s t s to serve a s o c i a l purpose. So, even i f someone can act wrongly without d e s e r v i n g blame, a c t i n g wrongly i s never a matter of i n d i f f e r e n c e . A l l p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the moral e n t e r p r i s e would p r e f e r to a v o i d a c t i n g wrongly. Moreover, and more to the p o i n t , a c t i n g A Formulation of AU / 50 wrongly always i n v o l v e s some s o r t of f a i l i n g . Something goes wrong when anyone a c t s w r o n g l y — e i t h e r e p i s t e m i c a l l y , or c h a r a c t e r o l o g i c a l l y , or m o t i v a t i o n a l l y , or i n some other way besides j u s t t u r n i n g out badly. Therefore, to c a t e g o r i z e an a c t i o n as wrong, r e g a r d l e s s of whether blame i s a p p r o p r i a t e , i s s t i l l t o say that being and doing as t h a t agent was and d i d i s something to be avoided. T h i s i s p a r t and p a r c e l of there being a p r a c t i c a l p o i n t to c a t e g o r i z i n g a c t i o n s as r i g h t and wrong. In these terms, the AC model does not preserve the p r a c t i c a l , s o c i a l f u n c t i o n f o r moral c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of a c t i o n s . That i s , an a c t i o n can be wrong even though nothing went wrong e p i s t e m i c a l l y , c h a r a c t e r o l o g i c a l l y , p r o c e d u r a l l y , m o t i v a t i o n a l l y or i n any way at a l l that we c o u l d take steps to overcome or a v o i d . In f a c t , as we have seen Smart i n s i s t , one can be and do e x a c t l y as we would wish everyone i n such circumstances would co n t i n u e to be and do and s t i l l have done a morally wrong t h i n g . And t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y i s p e r v a s i v e ; i t does not i n v o l v e only cases l i k e r e s c u i n g H i t l e r . C a r o l i n e i s the p i l o t of a plane that crashes because of a f l o c k of b i r d s . D e s p i t e being a good p i l o t , making no n a v i g a t i o n a l e r r o r s , having no reason to suspect b i r d s on the f l i g h t path chosen, and doing e v e r y t h i n g that a good p i l o t should do, the AC model s t i l l c h a r a c t e r i z e s C a r o l i n e ' s a c t i o n of s t e e r i n g that p a r t i c u l a r course as the morally A Formulation of AU / 51 wrong t h i n g to have done. There i s nothing that C a r o l i n e should be or do other than what she was or d i d but n e v e r t h e l e s s her a c t i o n s t i l l i s construed as m o r a l l y wrong. Such examples can be m u l t i p l i e d i n d e f i n i t e l y , s i n c e the AC model c h a r a c t e r i z e s any a c t i o n which f a i l s to r e s u l t i n the best p o s s i b l e s t a t e of a f f a i r s as m o r a l l y wrong; and t h i s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n p e r s i s t s even when r a t i o n a l l y a v o i d i n g the a c t i o n would have r e q u i r e d omniscience. One s t r e n g t h of the PC model, with i t s emphasis on reasonable e x p e c t a t i o n s , i s that i t does not demand omniscience to be r a t i o n a l l y moral. David i s a doctor who i n a d v e r t a n t l y i n j e c t s l i v e p o l i o v i r u s i n t o a c h i l d . An AC model construes David's a c t i o n as wrong, s i n c e i t f a i l e d to produce the optimal outcome. However, f o r the PC model, determining the moral s t a t u s of the a c t i o n i s more complicated and i n v o l v e s the q u e s t i o n whether anything i n the agent's experience should have prompted f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n before a c t i o n . Did David e x e r c i s e proper care and c a u t i o n when he v a c c i n a t e d the g i r l ? Was he a c t i n g as a reasonable p h y s i c i a n would act? Did David have any reason to t h i n k that the p o l i o v a c c i n e c o n t a i n e d l i v e v i r u s ? Since nothing i n h i s experience should have l e a d him to suspect that something was amiss, h i s a c t i o n was not wrong. I t would be unreasonable to demand that an agent i n v e s t i g a t e every p o s s i b i l i t y before a c t i n g . The PC model i n v o l v e s a r i c h e r s t r u c t u r e i n the A Formulation of AU'/ 52 d e t e r m i n a t i o n of r i g h t and wrong a c t i o n s than does the AC model. I t i s s u p e r i o r to the AC model. But a c r u c i a l q u e s t i o n i s whether the PC model has a r i c h enough s t r u c t u r e , with i t s emphasis on reasonable e x p e c t a t i o n s , to provide an adequate account of r i g h t and wrong a c t i o n s . The present c o n t e n t i o n i s that i t does not. The reason can be brought out by n o t i n g that the c o n s i d e r a t i o n s advanced for c l a s s i f y i n g David's a c t i o n as not wrong i n c l u d e too broad a range of a c t i o n s . In other words, a c o n s i s t e n t employment of the m o t i v a t i o n behind the PC model generates unacceptable moral c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s . B etty has l i v e d i n a s m a l l , i s o l a t e d town a l l her l i f e . She has a very l i m i t e d education and, because she has never been exposed to any other way of understanding t h i n g s , she simply a c c e p t s , and r e f l e c t s i n her a t t i t u d e s and b e l i e f s , the strong r a c i a l b i a s e s and p r e j u d i c e s of her community.t By a c c i d e n t Betty, who i s white, d i s c o v e r s that a f r i e n d , who a l s o i s white, i s i n v o l v e d i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p with a black man. The couple has kept t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s e c r e t because of the racism i n the community. Knowledge of t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p causes Betty great d i s t r e s s , s i n c e i t r e s u l t s in a sharp c o n f l i c t between the value she p l a c e s on the f r i e n d s h i p and her moral and r e l i g i o u s v a l u e s . Betty attempts to persuade her f r i e n d to end the r e l a t i o n s h i p but t T h i s example i s drawn from a paper read by Michael P h i l i p s to the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Philosophy Department. A Formulation of AU / 53 she i s u n s u c c e s s f u l . So, d e s p a i r i n g over what to do, she p u b l i c l y exposes the couple. As a r e s u l t , the r e l a t i o n s h i p i s d e s t r o y e d , the woman i s 'd i s g r a c e d ' i n the eyes of the community and the man i s f o r c e d to f l e e f o r h i s l i f e . The t e r r i b l e consequences of Betty's a c t i o n are s u f f i c i e n t f o r the AC model to conclude that the a c t i o n was wrong. Assessment w i t h i n the PC model i s more complex. Would i t be reasonable to expect anything i n Betty's experience to have prompted f u r t h e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n before she acted? The answer seems to be no, and, s i n c e i t would be unreasonable to expect Betty to have acted otherwise, the PC model assessment of her a c t i o n i s that i t was not wrong. A f t e r a l l , the 'values' that motivated her a c t i o n r e f l e c t ones which are overwhelmingly accepted i n her community. And furthermore, she i s not r e a l l y even aware that other ways of understanding t h i n g s e x i s t . In the case i n v o l v i n g David, i t may be argued that r e c o g n i z i n g the unreasonableness of e x p e c t i n g David to have acted otherwise supports c l a s s i f y i n g h i s a c t i o n as p e r m i s s i b l e . However, s i m i l a r r e c o g n i t i o n i n the case i n v o l v i n g Betty does not support such a c o n c l u s i o n . We may understand B e t t y ' s a c t i o n and the reasons t h a t gave r i s e to i t . Perhaps we may not blame Betty f o r a c t i n g i n the manner that she d i d , but we s t i l l would not c l a s s i f y her a c t i o n as a l l r i g h t . I t was wrong, d e s p i t e the f a c t that i t would be unreasonable to expect her to have a c t e d otherwise. A Formulation of AU / 54 There are many ins t a n c e s where i t would b'e unreasonable to expect the agent to have acted d i f f e r e n t l y , and where we perhaps would not blame the agent, but n e v e r t h e l e s s the a c t i o n s t i l l would be wrong. So, d e s p i t e the f a c t that the PC model r e p r e s e n t s an improvement over the AC model i n i t s acknowledgement of the p r a c t i c a l importance of m o r a l i t y , the model s t i l l seems to f a i l to p r o v i d e an adequate account of r i g h t and wrong a c t i o n . Doing wrong i n v o l v e s some s o r t of f a i l i n g , so to c l a s s i f y an a c t i o n as wrong a t t r i b u t e s some f a i l i n g to the agent. So, even i f there i s no assignment of blame, there s t i l l i s something m o r a l l y unacceptable when an agent's behaviour i s wrong. And, l i k e p r a i s e and blame, c l a s s i f y i n g an agent's a c t i o n as r i g h t or wrong serves to encourage or discourage s i m i l a r behaviour, both on the pa r t of the agent and o t h e r s . M o r a l i t y , as a s o c i a l phenomena, has some broad purpose and the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of a c t i o n s has some p o i n t that i s i n keeping with that purpose. The moral c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of an a c t i o n thereby i n v o l v e s more than simply examining the consequences of the a c t i o n . I t a l s o i s important to consid e r what p o i n t i s served with res p e c t to m o r a l i t y i t s e l f i n p o r t r a y i n g an a c t i o n as wrong. The need to a p p r e c i a t e the in s t r u m e n t a l p o i n t of moral c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i t s e l f can be brought out f u r t h e r through no t i n g the d i f f e r e n t assessments p r o v i d e d by the two AU A Formulation of AU / 55 models with respect to the cases of W i l l i a m t a k i n g h i s daughter to swim and B e t t y ' s p u b l i c exposure of the couple. The AC model construes both a c t i o n s as wrong. Since n e i t h e r a c t i o n produced the best consequences, the a c t i o n s were wrong. The PC model p o r t r a y s the a c t i o n s as a l l r i g h t , s i n c e i t would be unreasonable to expect the agents to have acted otherwise. However, i t seems most p l a u s i b l e to c l a i m that W i l l i a m ' s a c t i o n was r i g h t , or a l l r i g h t , and B e t t y ' s a c t i o n was wrong. R e a l i z i n g t h a t m o r a l i t y i s a s o c i a l p r a c t i c e i s a c r u c i a l s t e p toward p r o v i d i n g the resources necessary f o r an adequate account of r i g h t and wrong a c t i o n . Questions about r i g h t and wrong a c t i o n need to be addressed with the purpose of m o r a l i t y i n mind. Why do we say that W i l l i a m ' s a c t i o n of t a k i n g h i s daughter swimming was p e r m i s s i b l e but B e t t y ' s a c t i o n was not? In both cases r e l e v a n t i n f o r m a t i o n was a v a i l a b l e and i f the agents had t r o u b l e d to d i s c o v e r i t t h e i r behaviour would have changed. And i t a l s o i s t r u e , though i n d i f f e r e n t ways f o r each, that nothing i n t h e i r experience prompted the search f o r the a d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n . D e s p i t e a l l t h i s , we c a l l W i l l i a m ' s behaviour p e r m i s s i b l e , or at l e a s t we say that he d i d not act wrongly. The reason f o r t h i s r e s t s i n the f a c t t h at i t would be much too great a burden to pressure m o r a l l y everyone i n such circumstances to i n v e s t i g a t e every p o s s i b i l i t y connected with omnimous A Formulation of AU / 56 weather when there i s no apparent reason to suspect such weather. But we do want to encourage, and even press u r e , everyone to i n v e s t i g a t e t h e i r a t t i t u d e s concerning r a c i a l matters and sexual behaviour. These are ge n e r a l d i s p o s i t i o n s that can i n c l i n e people toward harmful a c t i o n . W i l l i a m d i d not have any g e n e r a l l y harmful d i s p o s i t i o n s , he merely lac k e d a b i t of s p e c i f i c i n f o r m a t i o n — a b i t of in f o r m a t i o n of a kind that i t would be unreasonable t o expect him to have a q u i r e d before a c t i n g , as the PC model c o r r e c t l y i n s i s t s . I f a c t i o n s l i k e W i l l i a m ' s are c l a s s i f i e d as mo r a l l y wrong, th e r e i s no reason f o r agents s e r i o u s l y to care about a v o i d i n g doing wrongs of t h i s kind, s i n c e an agent can act wrongly but n e v e r t h e l e s s be without any f a i l i n g whatsoever. To c a l l such a c t i o n s wrong undercuts the very s o c i a l purpose of m o r a l i t y and moral c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . In c o n t r a s t , c a l l i n g B e tty's a c t i o n wrong does not undercut but a c t u a l l y promotes and encourages the s o c i a l purpose of m o r a l i t y . Betty may not be to blame, but there was a general f a i l i n g that i t serves a s o c i a l f u n c t i o n to h i g h l i g h t c r i t i c a l l y . Her r a c i a l a t t i t u d e s were, i n f a c t , both d e f i c i e n t and c o r r e c t a b l e ; and i t does promote the s o c i a l purpose of m o r a l i t y to encourage people to guard a g a i n s t t h i s kind of ignorance and p r e j u d i c e . The same cannot be s a i d of W i l l i a m ' s a c t i o n . Any adequate account of r i g h t a c t i o n w i l l have to capture the f u n c t i o n and importance of moral c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i t s e l f , and A Formulation of AU / 57 t h i s r e l a t e s to what can be reasonably expected of agents. S k e p t i c i s m s t i l l may remain about the c l a i m that a c t i o n s such as W i l l i a m ' s are not wrong. There must be some sense, i t may be claimed, i n which W i l l i a m d i d the wrong t h i n g . Such a c l a i m i s true but i t does not c o n s t i t u t e an o b j e c t i o n to the i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t conception of moral c l a s s i f i c a t i o n that i s suggested here. Not every use of 'wrong' i n v o l v e s r e f e r e n c e to m o r a l i t y . The sense of 'wrong' in 'William d i d the wrong t h i n g ' i n v o l v e s a c l a i m l i k e , ' i t was a l l very unfortunate'. T h i s sense a l s o p r e v a i l s i n cla i m s about C a r o l i n e having 'taken the wrong course' i n f l y i n g the course that she d i d . Claiming that an agent d i d something wrong ( i n the sense of 'unfortunate') i s not the same as c l a i m i n g that the agent d i d something m o r a l l y wrong.f I n s t r u m e n t a l i s t c o n s i d e r a t i o n s express an i n s i g h t not captured i n e i t h e r AU model — the s o c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e attached to the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of an a c t i o n as r i g h t or wrong. The major p o i n t of c o n s i d e r i n g the i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t aspect of moral c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i s to i l l u s t r a t e that AU f a i l s to a p p r e c i a t e f u l l y the s o c i a l importance of m o r a l i t y . Yet there i s some a f f i n i t y between u t i l i t a r i a n reasoning and t An advocate of the AC model denies t h i s p r o p o s a l . The AC model construes the c l a i m that something was mo r a l l y wrong in terms of the c l a i m that t h i n g s d i d not tu r n out i d e a l l y . T h i s i s what leaves t h i s model open to the o b j e c t i o n that i t robs m o r a l i t y of i t s p r a c t i c a l r e l e v a n c e . A Formulation of AU / 58 the c o n s i d e r a t i o n s r e l e v a n t to .the i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t aspect of moral c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . A f t e r a l l , the l a t t e r does concern the consequences of moral c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . C l a s s i f i c a t i o n serves some s o r t of p r a c t i c a l , a c t i o n - g u i d i n g f u n c t i o n . As p r e v i o u s l y noted, the i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t aspect of moral c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i s not a gen e r a l theory of r i g h t a c t i o n , and i t i s not p r e j u d i c e d toward any p a r t i c u l a r normative theory. I n s t r u m e n t a l i s t c o n s i d e r a t i o n s e x p l a i n some of the apparent i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s i n our c o n s i d e r e d normative judgements, l i k e between W i l l i a m and B e t t y . The c o n s i d e r a t i o n s u n d e r l y i n g these judgements may be q u i t e complex, and they c o u l d i n v o l v e u t i l i t y c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , t h e o r i e s of r i g h t s and a l l kinds of t h i n g s . U t i l i t a r i a n s have overlooked the i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t aspect of moral c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i t s e l f and, with i t , the whole e n t e r p r i s e of m o r a l i t y as a s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n , f M o r a l i t y i s something we have to be abl e to l e a r n , r e l y upon, and employ. Smart's use of the AC model i s open to the s e r i o u s o b j e c t i o n that i t turns the r i g h t a c t i o n i n t o something so unknowable by the agent as to be unable to play any s u f f i c i e n t r o l e i n shaping the agent's behavior.$ But, t Smart and S a r t o r i u s are s e n s i t i v e to the f a c t that the AC model d i v o r c e s m o r a l i t y from the realm of p r a c t i c a l human concerns. However, both seem s a t i s f i e d t h a t the d i s t i n c t i o n s among agent/action/motive and between the u t i l i t y of the a c t i o n and the u t i l i t y of p r a i s i n g the a c t i o n are s u f f i c i e n t to defuse such c r i t i c i s m . $ These c o n s i d e r a t i o n s a l s o expose the root of the d i f f i c u l t y i n the AC model's assessment of the a s s a s s i n A Formulation of AU / 59 because of i t s widespread acceptance and i t s s i m p l i c i t y , our examination of AU continues i n terms of the AC model. However, the f a c t that the v a r i o u s examples t h a t we have examined have r e c e i v e d c o n f l i c t i n g assessments under d i f f e r e n t c o n s t r u a l s of AU shows a need f o r care i n examining AU on the b a s i s of p a r t i c u l a r c a s e s . In what f o l l o w s i t w i l l be understood that whatever knowledge i s r e q u i r e d f o r the a p p r o p r i a t e u t i l i t y assessment must be o b t a i n a b l e , given a reasonable e f f o r t by the agent, p r i o r to the a c t . I f t h i s r e s t r i c t i o n i s observed, then the AC model can continue to serve as the v e h i c l e f o r examining AU. D. ACTUAL CONSEQUENCES AND PROBABILITY CONSIDERATIONS We now t u r n to the i s s u e of how p r o b a b i l i t y r e l a t e s to best consequences, on the standard i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of AU. Smart e x p l i c i t l y contends that u t i l i t a r i a n i s m i s designed to serve as a guide to conduct. The u t i l i t a r i a n c r i t e r i o n , then, i s designed to h e l p a person, who c o u l d do v a r i o u s t h i n g s i f he chose to do them, to decide which of these t h i n g s he should do. H i s u t i l i t a r i a n d e l i b e r a t i o n i s one of the c a u s a l antecedents of h i s a c t i o n , and i t would be p o i n t l e s s i f i t were not. f Smart's c l a i m about the use of AU demonstrates the n e c e s s i t y $(cont'd) case. Since the a c t u a l consequences r e s u l t e d p u r e l y by a c c i d e n t , there i s no way to l e a r n to perform such ' r i g h t ' a c t i o n s , t Smart(2): p. 46. A Formulation of AU / 60 of t a k i n g p r o b a b i l i t y i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n . Adopting a model that employs a c t u a l , as opposed to probable, consequences does not i n v o l v e the r e j e c t i o n of a l l r e f e r e n c e to p r o b a b i l i t y . When the a l t e r n a t i v e courses of a c t i o n open to the d e l i b e r a t i n g agent each possess the same chance of producing t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e u t i l i t i e s , p r o b a b i l i t i e s are even and thus underdetermining. In such cases the r i g h t a c t i o n i n v o l v e s the a l t e r n a t i v e with the high e s t u t i l i t y . However, whenever the a l t e r n a t i v e courses of a c t i o n l a c k t h i s f e a t u r e , and t h i s i s the most common s i t u a t i o n , p r o b a b i l i t i e s become r e l e v a n t . If there i s a very low p r o b a b i l i t y of producing very good r e s u l t s , then i t i s n a t u r a l to say that the r a t i o n a l agent would perhaps go f o r other more probable though not q u i t e so good r e s u l t s . For a. more accurate f o r m u l a t i o n [of AU] we should have to weigh the goodness of the r e s u l t s with t h e i r p r o b a b i l i t i e s , f Such a q u a l i f i c a t i o n c o n s t i t u t e s a c e n t r a l f e a t u r e of any attempt to employ AU both as an account of r i g h t a c t i o n and as a guide to conduct. The manner i n which p r o b a b i l i t y c o n s i d e r a t i o n s are to f u n c t i o n i s best i l l u s t r a t e d by means of a s p e c i f i c , though a r t i f i c i a l , example. Suppose that one morning B i l l i s i n a s i t u a t i o n i n which there are only two courses of a c t i o n open to him. He can e i t h e r go to the lake or spend the day i n the park. If B i l l spends the day i n the park, i t w i l l r e s u l t i n 4 u n i t s t Smart(2): p. 47. A Formulation of AU / 61 of u t i l i t y . Going to the lake would generate 10.units. B i l l i s an i n d i v i d u a l who employs AU as one of the c a u s a l antecedents in d e c i d i n g how he w i l l a c t . H i s use of AU would seem to r e q u i r e that he go to the lake s i n c e i t has g r e a t e r u t i l i t y than spending the day i n the park. However, such a c o n c l u s i o n only f o l l o w s on the assumption that the l i k e l i h o o d of a c h i e v i n g the u t i l i t i e s i n v o l v e d i n the a l t e r n a t i v e outcomes i s the same. B i l l l i v e s c l o s e to the park, and i f he spends the day t h e r e , he w i l l go on h i s b i c y c l e . The lake i s too f a r away fo r B i l l to t r a v e l on h i s b i c y c l e . I f he goes to the l a k e , he w i l l have to d r i v e h i s car i n order to get t h e r e . However, h i s car has been breaking down a l o t l a t e l y , while h i s b i c y c l e i s i n good working or d e r . So, i f B i l l goes to the park, he w i l l , i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d , a r r i v e . Heading f o r the lake i n h i s car i n v o l v e s a good chance that he w i l l s u f f e r mechanical t r o u b l e s with the c a r . Such c o n s i d e r a t i o n s are c l e a r l y r e l e v a n t i n d e c i d i n g whether to go to the lake or to spend the day i n the park, and a proponent of AU can i n c o r p o r a t e these c o n s i d e r a t i o n s i n t o the c a l c u l a t i o n s . Given the c u r r e n t mechanical d i f f i c u l t i e s with the c a r , there i s only a 20% chance that B i l l w i l l a c t u a l l y a r r i v e at the l a k e . In c o n t r a s t , the odds are 90% that B i l l w i l l a c t u a l l y get to the park on h i s b i c y c l e . The u t i l i t y of spending the day i n the park i s 4 u n i t s , while going to the A Formulation of AU / 62 lake i n v o l v e s 10 u n i t s of u t i l i t y . Given these u t i l i t i e s , - and t h e i r corresponding p r o b a b i l i t i e s , an AU assessment of the two a l t e r n a t i v e s generates the f o l l o w i n g c a l c u l a t i o n s . In the case of going to the l a k e : .2 times 10 units=2.0 u n i t s . With respect to the a l t e r n a t i v e of spending the day in the park: .9 times 4 units=3.6 u n i t s . Thus, while going to the lake has greater u t i l i t y than spending the day i n the park, when the u t i l i t i e s are combined with the p r o b a b i l i t i e s of a c t u a l l y a c h i e v i n g them, the AU r e s u l t i s that the r i g h t d e c i s i o n i s to spend the day i n the park. f I t i s t h i s type of case that Smart r e f e r s to when he c l a i m s that a u t i l i t a r i a n w i l l choose a course of a c t i o n t h a t i n v o l v e s l e s s good r e s u l t s i f the p r o b a b i l i t y of a c h i e v i n g the r e s u l t s i s higher than an a l t e r n a t i v e with b e t t e r r e s u l t s . T h i s f e a t u r e of AU i s extremely important. I t i s c r u c i a l i n the examination of AU, f o r example i n c o n s i d e r i n g how AU f u n c t i o n s with respect to famine r e l i e f . $ To summarize the d i s c u s s i o n so f a r , AU o f f e r s a s t r i c t t I t i s worth noting that i f B i l l a c t u a l l y attempts to perform such c a l c u l a t i o n s , the r e s u l t i s that he wastes much of the day t r y i n g to determine the u t i l i t i e s . Such a r e s u l t h i g h l i g h t s the need f o r spo n t a n e i t y and c a s u a l assessments of p r o b a b i l i t y . $ In t h i s example I have fo l l o w e d what has been standard p r a c t i c e i n a s s i g n i n g u t i l i t y v a l u e s d i r e c t l y to r e s u l t i n g s t a t e s of a f f a i r s and then a r r i v i n g at an o v e r a l l p r a c t i c a l c a l c u l a t i o n by m u l t i p l y i n g these times p r o b a b i l i t i e s of success. T h i s procedure a c t u a l l y r i d e s rough shod over c e r t a i n t e c h n i c a l d i s t i n c t i o n s between end s t a t e and a n t i c i p a t e d u t i l i t y c a l c u l a t i o n s that are now common in formal d e c i s i o n theory. T h i s , however, does not a f f e c t the for c e of the example and the argument that i t supports. A Formulation of AU / 63 account of r i g h t a c t i o n ; i t i s not intended to serve as a complete account of e v a l u a t i o n f o r e i t h e r the c h a r a c t e r or the motive of the moral agent. Since people's i n i t i a l r e a c t i o n s to moral s c e n a r i o s i n v o l v e v a r i o u s , separate aspects of o v e r a l l moral e v a l u a t i o n , c l e a r d e f i n i t i o n of the scope of the p r i n c i p l e of AU i s c r u c i a l . As a c o r o l l a r y , i t i s important to acknowledge the d i s t i n c t i o n between the u t i l i t y of the a c t i o n and the u t i l i t y of p r a i s i n g the agent f o r the a c t i o n . T h i s d i s t i n c t i o n i s of p a r t i c u l a r s i g n i f i c a n c e when AU i s construed i n terms of a c t u a l , and not probable, consequences. F i n a l l y , AU must take p r o b a b i l i t i e s i n t o account when a l t e r n a t i v e courses of a c t i o n have d i f f e r e n t l i k e l i h o o d s of success. Much of the c r i t i c i s m of AU i n v o l v e s f a i l i n g to take the l i m i t e d scope of AU, and the c i t e d d i s t i n c t i o n s , i n t o account. But even acknowledging the r e s t r i c t e d focus of AU and the f o r c e of the r e l e v a n t d i s t i n c t i o n s , fundamental q u e s t i o n s remain. P r i n c i p a l among these i s AU's adequacy i n s i t u a t i o n s r e q u i r i n g t r u s t , c o o r d i n a t i o n and common e f f o r t . ,It i s to these more complex i s s u e s that we now t u r n . I I I . AU AND T H E I S S U E OF S E L F - D E F E A T I N G N E S S Concerns about AU's t h e o r e t i c a l adequacy p e r t a i n i n g to co o p e r a t i o n and common e f f o r t can be v o i c e d i n v a r i o u s ways. The s t r o n g e s t i s the charge that AU i s s e l f - d e f e a t i n g . A s o c i e t y composed of committed AU agents who are r a t i o n a l and cognisant of the f a c t t h at everyone i s so committed w i l l be unable t o achieve the common goal of u t i l i t y maximization. The s u b s t a n t i a t i o n of t h i s o b j e c t i o n would c o n s t i t u t e a near f a t a l blow to AU. We t h e r e f o r e need to c o n s i d e r the i s s u e of whether AU i s s e l f - d e f e a t i n g . A . HODGSON ON A U ' S S E L F - D E F E A T I N G N E S S Hodgson argues that AU i s s e l f - d e f e a t i n g . H i s argument i n v o l v e s imagining a s o c i e t y which corresponds to the AU i d e a l and then c o n s i d e r i n g whether there would be any reason i n such a s o c i e t y to expect the t r u t h to be t o l d or promises to be kept. Hodgson p o r t r a y s the i d e a l AU s o c i e t y as: ... a s o c i e t y i n which everyone accepts [AU] as h i s only p e r s o n a l r u l e , and attempts to act i n accordance with i t . We assume that everyone i s h i g h l y r a t i o n a l , s u f f i c i e n t l y so to understand the i m p l i c a t i o n s of the use of [AU] ( i n c l u d i n g those to be demonstrated i n t h i s s e c t i o n ) . We assume too that the u n i v e r s a l use of [AU] and u n i v e r s a l r a t i o n a l i t y i s common knowledge, i n the sense that everyone knows of i t , and everyone knows that everyone knows, and so on.t t HodgsonO): pp. 38-39. 64 AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 65 Hodgson then argues that there would be no reason fo r anyone to b e l i e v e anything that anyone e l s e s a i d and no reasonable e x p e c t a t i o n of promises being honoured in such a s o c i e t y . The argument that Hodgson advances i s not c o n t i n g e n t on mistakes o c c u r r i n g i n the u t i l i t y c a l c u l a t i o n s . He emphasizes that many arguments a g a i n s t AU have: ... proceeded on the b a s i s of the p o s s i b i l i t y of the m i s a p p l i c a t i o n of the system, e i t h e r through mistaken c a l c u l a t i o n or moral f a i l i n g ; and i t can be s a i d that a moral theory should be assessed on the b a s i s not of p o s s i b l e m i s a p p l i c a t i o n s of i t , but of i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s . t Rather, Hodgson argues that i t i s because the agents perform the proper AU c a l c u l a t i o n s and that other agents know t h i s that AU i s s e l f - d e f e a t i n g . The essence of Hodgson's argument i s t h a t , i n an i d e a l AU s o c i e t y , AU i s the fundamental p r i n c i p l e governing conduct and AU thereby takes precedence over any ' r u l e s of thumb' or ' p r a c t i c a l maxims' that i n d i v i d u a l s might otherwise employ to govern t h e i r conduct. So, f o r example, ' t e l l the .truth' i s not (and cannot be) a c o n v e n t i o n a l moral r u l e i n t h i s s o c i e t y , f o r i t i s t o t a l l y subordinate to AU i t s e l f . Such s u b o r d i n a t i o n e n t a i l s that on any p a r t i c u l a r o c c a s i o n there i s no way f o r an agent to know whether she i s being t o l d the t r u t h . Every agent knows that u t i l i t y c o n s i d e r a t i o n s are o v e r r i d i n g and that the t r u t h i s t o l d t Hodgson(1): p. 38. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 66 only when i t maximizes u t i l i t y . So, s i n c e the agent has no way to know on any p a r t i c u l a r o c c a s i o n when being given some 'i n f o r m a t i o n ' whether honesty or decept i o n maximizes u t i l i t y , the agent can p l a c e no r e l i a n c e on the 'in f o r m a t i o n ' that i s pr o v i d e d . And such u n c e r t a i n t y i s p e r v a s i v e ; i t i s not r e s t r i c t e d t o unusual cases l i k e not being t o l d the t r u t h when one i s seeking to f i n d someone i n order t o murder them. An analogous argument e x i s t s concerning promises. Promises are only kept when doing so maximizes u t i l i t y . S ince i t i s u n i v e r s a l knowledge that t h i s i s the case, the promisee knows t h i s as w e l l . As a r e s u l t , she w i l l not expect a promise to be kept u n l e s s i t maximizes u t i l i t y ; and promises thereby do nothing to a l t e r e x p e c t a t i o n s (or i l l u s i o n s ) about what i s to be done, s i n c e the best s t a t e of a f f a i r s i s to be produced r e g a r d l e s s of whether a promise has been made. Consequently, "promising" would be p o i n t l e s s (and perhaps impossible) in an i d e a l AU s o c i e t y . Hodgson contends that a s o c i e t y that a l l o w s general r e l i a n c e on the t r u t h of i n f o r m a t i o n exchanged and prima f a c i a r e l i a n c e on the b i n d i n g f o r c e of promises i s a s o c i e t y which i n v o l v e s g r e a t e r l e v e l s of communication and co o p e r a t i o n f o r mutual b e n e f i t than i s p o s s i b l e i n a s o c i e t y without access to these s o c i a l p r a c t i c e s . Consequently, s i n c e these p r a c t i c e s play a r o l e i n any s o c i e t y that has AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 67 optimal u t i l i t y , and they are not a v a i l a b l e i n a s o c i e t y of AU agents, an i d e a l AU s o c i e t y cannot be a s o c i e t y with optimal u t i l i t y . In other words, a s o c i e t y of i n d i v i d u a l s committed s o l e l y to u t i l i t y maximization at the l e v e l of i n d i v i d u a l a c t i o n s f a i l s c o l l e c t i v e l y to maximize u t i l i t y . AU i s thereby s e l f - d e f e a t i n g . A s i m i l a r argument i s advanced by Hodgson with res p e c t to the s i t u a t i o n f a c i n g a committed AU agent i n a s o c i e t y which, l i k e a l l e x i s t i n g s o c i e t i e s , i s l a r g e l y a non-AU s o c i e t y . • The example of promising h i g h l i g h t s the d i f f i c u l t i e s i n a s o c i e t y of AU agents, and promising a l s o i l l u s t r a t e s Hodgson's c l a i m that being an AU agent i n a s o c i e t y which i s not an AU s o c i e t y i s s e l f - d e f e a t i n g . As b e f o r e , the main is s u e concerns r e l i a n c e and s i n c e r i t y because of p o s s i b l e d e c e p t i o n . According to Hodgson: ... the d e c e i t of the a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n promisor i n making a promise c o u l d a f f e c t the promisee in three ways: breach of promise would be more l i k e l y ; i f the promise were broken, compensation would be l e s s l i k e l y ; and i f the promisee and/or o t h e r s got to know that he was an a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n , the bad consequences of breach would be reduced so that ( i f the promisor knew that these persons knew) breach would be more l i k e l y s t i l l . The p o i n t of a l l t h i s i s not j u s t that i t would be d e c e i t f u l to promise, f o r a c c o r d i n g to a u t i l i t a r i a n i t might be r i g h t to d e c e i v e . Rather, the p o i n t i s t h a t , i n regard to promising, being an a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n can have d i s u t i l i t y . f t Hodgson(1): pp. 55-56. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 68 The suggestion i s that t h i s d i s u t i l i t y r e s u l t s from the undermining of the p o s s i b i l i t y of c o o p e r a t i o n . For where a person who accepts a per s o n a l r u l e r e q u i r i n g promise-keeping can u s e f u l l y c o - o r d i n a t e plans by means of a s i n c e r e promise, an a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n has only the f o l l o w i n g three a l t e r n a t i v e s , or p o s s i b l y only the f i r s t two of them: not to make a promise, to make a promise to a person who knows that he i s an a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n , or to make a promise t o , and so deceive , a person who does not know t h i s . f A l l t h ree of the a l t e r n a t i v e s open to the AU agent may f a i l to be as u s e f u l ( i . e . , u t i l i t y maximizing) as a s i n c e r e promise. The f i r s t misses the o p p o r t u n i t y u s e f u l l y to c o - o r d i n a t e p l a n s ; and the second i s l i t t l e b e t t e r , f o r as we saw, such a promise c o u l d not be r e l i e d on with c o n f i d e n c e and so would not be very e f f e c t i v e f o r c o - o r d i n a t i n g p l a n s . The t h i r d i n v o l v e s d e c e i t , and even though a u t i l i t a r i a n can say that t h i s i s not bad in i t s e l f , d e c e i t may have bad consequences; and i f i t would have bad consequences f o r an a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n t o deceive i n t h i s way, f o r example, by d e s t r o y i n g h i s candour and openness of c h a r a c t e r and thus reducing h i s a b i l i t y to be of use, a l l that an a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n can do i s to turn to one of the other two u n s a t i s f a c t o r y a l t e r n a t i v e s . $ Hodgson thus concludes that AU i s s e l f - d e f e a t i n g i n both the i d e a l AU s o c i e t y and the non-AU s o c i e t y . And t h i s s e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s does not, i n e i t h e r case, depend upon the f Hodgson(1): p. 56. $ Hodgson(1): p. 56. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 69 AU agents making mistakes i n t h e i r u t i l i t y c a l c u l a t i o n s . B. SINGER'S REPLY: A STANDARD AU RESPONSE Singer r e j e c t s Hodgson's argument that AU i s s e l f - d e f e a t i n g . The focus of Si n g e r ' s response i s Hodgson's c l a i m that AU i s s e l f - d e f e a t i n g i n the i d e a l AU s o c i e t y . Singer counters Hodgson's argument by empahasizing that i t i s a s o c i e t y of i n d i v i d u a l s committed to AU that i s under c o n s i d e r a t i o n . Since i t i s an i d e a l AU s o c i e t y : people would not act from the motives which most commonly l e a d people to make f a l s e promises and to t e l l l i e s - - m o t i v e s l i k e s e l f - i n t e r e s t , malevolence, p r i d e , and so on. Nor would t h e r e be any need to make f a l s e promises or t e l l l i e s from u t i l i t a r i a n motives, i n the s o r t of circumstances of which u t i l i t a r i a n c r i t i c s are so fond: there would be no need to make c o n s o l i n g promises t o dying people who wish t h e i r e s t a t e s to be d i s t r i b u t e d i n some way c o n t r a r y to u t i l i t y , s i n c e dying people would not wish t h i s ; no need, e i t h e r , to t e l l a l i e to save a man from h i s would-be murderer.f Thus, there would seem to be no need to t e l l l i e s or to make f a l s e promises i n the i d e a l AU s o c i e t y . $ Singer f u r t h e r i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s c o n t e n t i o n with an i n t e r e s t i n g example. Suppose A b e l i e v e s that the g r e a t e s t good w i l l be f S i n g e r ( 2 ) : p. 97. $ Singer suggests that Hodgson misses t h i s p o i n t because he f a i l s to a p p r e c i a t e the importance of the d i s t i n c t i o n between the e x i s t e n c e of a reason f o r l y i n g or breaking a promise and the absence of a s u f f i c i e n t reason f o r t e l l i n g the t r u t h or keeping a promise. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 70 served i f B works an hour longer than he i n t e n d s . Since B plans on t a k i n g the bus home, he pla n s on working only u n t i l the departure of the l a s t bus. B asks A when the l a s t bus departs and A thereby i s in the p o s i t i o n of being able to produce the g r e a t e s t good by m i s l e a d i n g B as to the departure time of the l a s t bus. Singer asks: i s i t not p o s s i b l e that A should l i e to B about what time the l a s t bus leaves? I f so, the o b j e c t i o n goes, there are reasons to l i e even i n an i d e a l AU s o c i e t y . Thus, Hodgson's argument that one may have no reason to b e l i e v e the i n f o r m a t i o n that any agent p r o v i d e s holds. As before, S i n g e r ' s response focuses on the f a c t t h at i t i s an i d e a l AU s o c i e t y . T h i s o b j e c t i o n f o r g e t s that both A and B take [AU] as t h e i r p e r s o n a l r u l e and always t r y to act on i t . So i f i t i s the case that the good of B working an e x t r a hour outweighs the d i s u t i l i t y of h i s having to walk home, a l l that i s necessary to ensure that he does the e x t r a work i s that A e x p l a i n t h i s to him. ... So, A s t i l l has no good reason f o r l y i n g . f I t i s not that l y i n g would be wrong per se i n an i d e a l AU s o c i e t y . Rather Singer contends that the t r u t h would always maximize u t i l i t y in a s o c i e t y i n which everyone accepts AU as her p e r s o n a l r u l e governing conduct. So, Hodgson's argument f a i l s because he f a i l s to a p p r e c i a t e f u l l y the c o n d i t i o n s that would e x i s t i n an i d e a l AU s o c i e t y . I t i s important to a p p r e c i a t e the extreme i d e a l i s m that t - S i n g e r ( 2 ) : pp. 98-99. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 71 Singer's c o n s t r u a l of the AU agent r e q u i r e s ? or perhaps i t i s b e t t e r seen as i n c o r p o r a t i n g an extreme unrealism. Since the agent has an o v e r r i d i n g concern with u t i l i t y maximization from an impersonal p e r s p e c t i v e , on any o c c a s i o n i n which general u t i l i t y can be i n c r e a s e d through the s a c r i f i c e of p e r s o n a l u t i l i t y , the agent w i l l do so without h e s i t a t i o n or . complaint. So, f o r example, suppose that A agreed to do some work f o r B. I f B l a t e r d i s c o v e r s that she can maximize u t i l i t y by not paying A but g i v i n g the money to C i n s t e a d , B should do so. And furthermore, A should have no complaint or h e s i t a t i o n about B's d e c i s i o n , s i n c e breaking the agreement with A maximizes general u t i l i t y . But beyond the extreme unrealism of S i n g e r ' s c o n s t r u a l of AU agency, there i s an a d d i t i o n a l problem. While Singer c o r r e c t l y p o i n t s out that Hodgson's a n a l y s i s f a i l s to a p p r e c i a t e f u l l y the circumstances i n the i d e a l AU s o c i e t y , S i n g e r ' s counterargument i s open to a s i m i l a r o b j e c t i o n . At the outset Singer notes Hodgson's f o r m u l a t i o n of AU and accepts i t f o r the purposes of the d i s c u s s i o n , ! n o t i n g e x p l i c i t l y t h a t , "Hodgson, f o r convenience, uses 'best' to mean 'best or equal best,' and I s h a l l do the same."! Such a t e r m i n o l o g i c a l convention may be ! Hodgson's f o r m u l a t i o n of AU i s : An act i s r i g h t i f and only i f i t would have best consequences, that i s , consequences at l e a s t as good as those of any a l t e r n a t i v e act open to the agent. See Hodgson(l): p. 1. ! S i n g e r ( 2 ) : p. 95. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 72 convenient but u l t i m a t e l y i t proves to be m i s l e a d i n g . I t leads Singer to m i s d e s c r i b e the circumstances, and the r e s u l t i n g r a m i f i c a t i o n s , that may p r e v a i l i n an i d e a l AU s o c i e t y . S i n g e r ' s argument that AU i s not s e l f - d e f e a t i n g i m p l i c i t l y r e s t s on the assumption that there i s only one u t i l i t y maximizing s t a t e of a f f a i r s and that only one a c t i o n produces i t . I t i s i n s t r u c t i v e to r e c o n s i d e r the argument in l i g h t of the p o s s i b i l i t y that there may be more than one outcome that i s 'best'. The agents i n an i d e a l AU s o c i e t y are committed to maximizing u t i l i t y through t h e i r a c t i o n s . So, as Singer c o r r e c t l y p o i n t s out, a l l that i s necessary to ensure that an agent perform a c e r t a i n a c t i o n i s to make i t c l e a r to the agent that the a c t i o n does indeed maximize u t i l i t y . f However, there i s no reason to assume that such agents must be i n d i f f e r e n t to which s t a t e s of a f f a i r s are produced when s e v e r a l s t a t e s of a f f a i r s a l l maximize u t i l i t y e q u a l l y w e l l . In other words, one does not have to assume that agents are i n d i f f e r e n t to p a t t e r n s of u t i l i t y d i s t r i b u t i o n i n order to assume that agents are committed to u t i l i t y maximization. Recognizing t h i s can have s e r i o u s r a m i f i c a t i o n s i n a s s e s s i n g f I t i s important to keep i n mind that Singer assumes that there are no mistakes i n the u t i l i t y c a l c u l a t i o n s of the agents. L i k e Hodgson, Singer contends that AU must be judged on the b a s i s of i t s proper a p p l i c a t i o n s , and not i t s m i s a p p l i c a t i o n s . Thus, there i s no c o n f u s i o n on the part of the agents as to what c o n s t i t u t e s the u t i l i t y maximizing s t a t e of a f f a i r s . AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 73 the c l a i m that the agents i n an i d e a l AU s o c i e t y can be counted upon to t e l l one another the t r u t h . It i s reasonable to assume t h a t , w i t h i n the c o n s t r a i n t s imposed by moral c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , the agents i n an i d e a l AU s o c i e t y are i n t e r e s t e d i n promoting t h e i r p e r s o n a l u t i l i t y . f Imagine that X and Y both represent optimal s t a t e s of a f f a i r s . So, A and B are m o r a l l y i n d i f f e r e n t to which s t a t e of a f f a i r s i s produced. However, suppose that A ob t a i n s g r e a t e r personal u t i l i t y from X, while B r e c e i v e s more p e r s o n a l u t i l i t y from Y. While i t i s true that A and B both want X or Y (as r e q u i r e d by AU), A p r e f e r s X while B p r e f e r s Y. Suppose f u r t h e r that A i s i n a p o s i t i o n t o guarantee X through t e l l i n g a l i e to B. No moral c o n s t r a i n t s on A w i l l prevent her from l y i n g . X i s a m o r a l l y optimal s t a t e of a f f a i r s and l y i n g i s not prima f a c i a wrong i n an i d e a l AU s o c i e t y . Thus, i t seems reasonable to expect A to l i e , s i n c e she would be sim u l t a n e o u s l y promoting p e r s o n a l u t i l i t y and the g e n e r a l l y optimal s t a t e of a f f a i r s . However, r e c a l l that the members of an i d e a l AU s o c i e t y are h i g h l y r a t i o n a l and understand the i m p l i c a t i o n s of AU. So, B i s f u l l y aware that i f X and Y both r e s u l t i n optimal s t a t e s of a f f a i r s , and A p r e f e r s X, then B cannot assume that A w i l l t e l l B the t r u t h . Furthermore, s i n c e B can never t One c o u l d deny t h i s c l a i m . However, i t i s not c l e a r what sense of agency, i f any, remains when one imagines agents who are i n d i f f e r e n t to t h e i r own u t i l i t y . AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 74 know, f o r any s i t u a t i o n , that i t does not c o n s t i t u t e such, a case, B can never be completely c o n f i d e n t that A i s t e l l i n g the t r u t h and not l y i n g to her. I t thereby appears that the agents i n an i d e a l AU s o c i e t y w i l l not be able to r e l y upon, as t r u e , the ' i n f o r m a t i o n ' that the other agents p r o v i d e . And so, at the very l e a s t , there are apparent t e n s i o n s i n the i d e a l AU s o c i e t y that are not a u t o m a t i c a l l y r e s o l v e d through n o t i n g that each agent i s committed to AU.f Singer may have demonstrated that AU does not have the d i s a s t e r o u s consequences that Hodgson c l a i m s . But, while AU i s not s e l f - d e f e a t i n g when only one s t a t e of a f f a i r s i s o p t i m a l , the r e l i a b i l i t y of important communication can s t i l l be threatened when there i s more than one optimal s t a t e . $ J.L. Mackie makes e s s e n t i a l l y the same mistake. He t Such t e n s i o n s are probably not s u f f i c i e n t to r e s u l t i n AU being s e l f - d e f e a t i n g . A f t e r a l l , a non-AU s o c i e t y does i n c o r p o r a t e both 1) the general r e l i a n c e on the t r u t h of ' i n f o r m a t i o n ' p r o v i d e d , and 2) t h a t deception i s sometimes j u s t i f i e d . And t h i s does not e n t a i l that a non-AU s o c i e t y i s s e l f - d e f e a t i n g . I t may be that an AU s o c i e t y can accommodate the above mentioned c o n f l i c t s among i t s members as long as they are r e l a t i v e l y i n f r e q u e n t . $ These p o t e n t i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s are even more apparent when one makes r e a l i s t i c assumptions about the r a t i o n a l a b i l i t i e s of the agents i n the i d e a l AU s o c i e t y . As Gary Wedeking p o i n t s out, even assuming that A knows B to be a committed AU agent, A may remain u n c e r t a i n about what B w i l l do. For B may be reasoning i n a manner t h a t i s d i f f e r e n t from A. R a t i o n a l i t y does not imply that a l l agents w i l l a r r i v e at the same c o n c l u s i o n s i n complex e m p i r i c a l reasoning. So, there may be u n c e r t a i n t y about what other AU agents w i l l do which might not be r e s o l v e d on the b a s i s of what they say w i l l do. I t should a l s o be noted that the u t i l i t i e s p e r t a i n i n g to A's e x p e c t a t i o n s that B w i l l do something because she has s a i d that she w i l l a l s o have to be taken i n t o account. T h i s makes the c a l c u l a t i o n s even more complex. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 75 assumes that commitment to common welfare e n t a i l s that there can be no- c o n f l i c t between the ends of the members of an i d e a l AU s o c i e t y . Remarking on the c r i t i c i s m of AU advanced by Hodgson and G.J. Warnock, Mackie says the f o l l o w i n g . t Hodgson, and Warnock s t i l l more so, have made the mistake of not c o n s i d e r i n g t h e i r own hypothesis i n a s u f f i c i e n t l y thorough-going way: they have not seen that the move to an [AU] s o c i e t y , i n which there are no c o n f l i c t s of i n t e r e s t or purpose, does away with the need f o r our o r d i n a r y c o n v e n t i o n a l r u l e s at the same time that i t does away with both c o n v e n t i o n a l and u t i l i t a r i a n reasons f o r observing them. Such a s o c i e t y c o u l d enjoy the b e n e f i t s of c o - o p e r a t i o n as i t a r i s e s from an automatic harmonization of e f f o r t without r e q u i r i n g the d e v i c e s that we now need i f we are to e r e c t some measure of mutually b e n e f i c i a l c o - o p e r a t i o n on a foundation of d i v e r g e n t purposes.:*; Mackie appears to have confused i s s u e s about u t i l i t y d i s t r i b u t i o n with those p e r t a i n i n g to u t i l i t y maximization. For, as we have j u s t seen, i t i s o f t e n i s s u e s i n v o l v i n g the former, as opposed to the l a t t e r , which suggest that AU may s t i l l face problems about c o o p e r a t i o n . R e c a l l S i n g e r ' s case i n v o l v i n g whether A should deceive B i n order to get B to work an e x t r a hour. The c r u c i a l i s s u e may i n v o l v e u t i l i t y d i s t r i b u t i o n and not u t i l i t y maximization. Given that there are p o t e n t i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s with the d i r e c t employment of AU f Warnock o f f e r s an argument a g a i n s t AU that shares much with the argument forwarded by Hodgson. See Warnock(l): chapter 3. $ Mackie( 1 ) : p. 298. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 76 and that harmony of general aim, i n terms of u t i l i t y maximization, does not e n t a i l i n t e r p e r s o n a l harmony with re s p e c t to u t i l i t y d i s t r i b u t i o n , i t may w e l l be the case that there i s a need f o r some 'devices' to achieve the f u l l b e n e f i t s of co o p e r a t i o n and the r e l i a b i l i t y of communication. I t i s thereby i n s t r u c t i v e to expl o r e f u r t h e r the i s s u e of whether, as Mackie i n s i s t s , an i d e a l s o c i e t y a l l o w s f o r c o o r d i n a t e d e f f o r t s to achieve mutual b e n e f i t s . C. AU AND THE PROBLEM OF COOPERATION The c e n t r a l theme of Warnock's c r i t i c i s m of AU i s that i t does not allow f o r even the p o s s i b i l i t y of c o o p e r a t i o n . Can one say that what [AU] e s s e n t i a l l y d e f e a t s i s the p o s s i b i l i t y of co-operation? I t seems t h a t , i f two or more persons are e f f e c t i v e l y to co-operate ... there must be such a t h i n g as being prepared to be, and recognized as being, bound to s p e c i f i c requirements of the c o - o p e r a t i v e ' e t h i c s ' , or to s p e c i f i c u ndertakings. I t i s not ... e s s e n t i a l that such bonds should ... never ... be broken; but i t i s e s s e n t i a l that they should not i n gene r a l make a b s o l u t e l y no d i f f e r e n c e . ... But i f [AU] i s to be our s o l e c r i t e r i o n , they would i n e v i t a b l y count f o r n o t h i n g . f Warnock d i s c u s s e s a s p e c i f i c example to i l l u s t r a t e h i s c o n t e n t i o n that AU pre c l u d e s appeals to anything other than AU i t s e l f . The example i s set i n a m i l i t a r y c o n t e x t , and concerns the c o o r d i n a t i o n that i s necessary to achieve t Warnock(1): p. 34 . AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 77 v i c t o r y on the b a t t l e f i e l d . . What w i l l be the best way of s e c u r i n g t h i s end? I t does not seem--in t h i s c a s e — a t a l l p a r a d o x i c a l to say that the end w i l l not be most e f f e c t i v e l y pursued by t e l l i n g each man so to act as, i n h i s judgement, best to achieve i t ; even i f a l l my men are h i g h l y sagacious and experienced s o l d i e r s , mere chaos w i l l ensue, s i n c e the task thus set them i s not merely d i f f i c u l t , but completely i m p o s s i b l e . ! A common commitment to v i c t o r y s t i l l l e a ves the s i t u a t i o n i n which each s o l d i e r d i r e c t l y pursues that goal s e l f - d e f e a t i n g . V i c t o r y i s only p o s s i b l e when the s o l d i e r s are i n the p o s i t i o n of a c c e p t i n g and a c t i n g upon o r d e r s . However, a c c o r d i n g to Warnock, a s o l d i e r whose c r i t e r i o n of a c t i o n i s what he judges i s most conducive to v i c t o r y cannot accept and f o l l o w orders i n the usual manner. I t i s ... orthodox m i l i t a r y d o c t r i n e t h a t ... a m i l i t a r y subordinate i s to comply with an order that i s g i v e n . ... But t h i s , of course, i s to say that the subordinate's c r i t e r i o n of a c t i o n i s to be the obedience to ord e r s , not h i s judgement about what i s most conducive to the end of v i c t o r y ; and i f my s o l d i e r s are r e a l l y to be guided by t h i s l a t t e r c r i t e r i o n alone, then t h e i r acceptance of the former can only be c o n d i t i o n a l — e a c h w i l l obey the orders of h i s s u p e r i o r commander, provided that he t h i n k s i t most conducive to v i c t o r y to do so.$ The d i f f i c u l t i e s that r e s u l t from t h i s s i t u a t i o n are analogous to the concerns that Hodgson advances with respect f Warnock(1 ) : p . 3 1 . t Warnock(1): p. 32. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 78 to promises. Since both promisor and promisee are committed to AU as t h e i r only p e r s o n a l r u l e , the n o t i o n of a 'promise' l o s e s i t s f o r c e . S i m i l a r l y , Warnock contends, s i n c e both commander and s o l d i e r a c t from what they judge to be conducive to v i c t o r y , the n o t i o n of an 'order' l o s e s i t s f o r c e . S o l d i e r s only obey orders when they judge them conducive to v i c t o r y , j u s t as i n d i v i d u a l s o n l y t e l l the t r u t h when they judge the t r u t h conducive to u t i l i t y maximization. But here t r o u b l e l u r k s . For i f subordinates make t h i s r e s e r v a t i o n , then they may see reason sometimes to disobey an order. But t h e i r commander w i l l know t h a t , and a c c o r d i n g l y may f i n d i t necessary to c o n f i n e himself to o r d e r s such that i t w i l l not be too d i s a s t e r o u s a matter i f they are disobeyed. But t h i s i n turn h i s i n t e l l i g e n t s u b o r d i n a t e s w i l l a p p r e c i a t e . ... The chance of t h e i r d i s o b e y i n g orders i s thereby i n c r e a s e d . ... And the upshot may be that t h e i r 'commander' w i l l have no reason to t h i n k t h a t h i s i s s u i n g 'orders' w i l l make any d i f f e r e n c e at a l l . f Warnock g e n e r a l i z e s t h i s apparent d i f f i c u l t y beyond the m i l i t a r y context to express h i s c r i t i c i s m of AU. I t thus appears t h a t , i f the end of each and a l l i s to be e f f e c t i v e l y pursued, i t i s a c t u a l l y necessary i n such a case that promotion of t h i s end should not be each man's s o l e c r i t e r o n of p r a c t i c a l d e c i s i o n ; on the c o n t r a r y , each man must be prepared to do, must think i t wrong not to do, some a c t s which, i n h i s judgement and perhaps a l s o in f a c t , are not such as to promote that g e n e r a l t Warnock(1): p. 32. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 79 end.f Thus, Warnock contends that a group of people employing AU as t h e i r s o l e p e r s o n a l r u l e f o r conduct cannot cooperate with one another i n a way that a l l o w s a c h i e v i n g the common goal of u t i l i t y maximization. It i s i l l u m i n a t i n g t o c o n t r a s t Warnock's p o r t r a y a l of co o p e r a t i v e m i l i t a r y e f f o r t by i n d i v i d u a l s committed to v i c t o r y with an account suggested by Hare. If armies were to say to s o l d i e r s when t r a i n i n g them, "On the b a t t l e f i e l d , always do what i s most conducive to the gene r a l good of mankind," or even "of your countrymen," n e a r l y a l l the s o l d i e r s would e a s i l y convince themselves ( b a t t l e s being what they are) that the course most conducive to these d e s i r a b l e ends was headlong f l i g h t . I nstead they say, "Leave those c a l c u l a t i o n s to your s u p e r i o r s . ... Your job i s to get on with the f i g h t i n g . " Only i n t h i s way can wars be won.$ Li k e Warnock, Hare g e n e r a l i z e s h i s argument beyond the m i l i t a r y context and suggests t h a t i t i s probably conducive to the ge n e r a l good i f people v a l u e (and even overvalue) the c o n v e n t i o n a l moral norms of s o c i e t y . When faced with a ch o i c e between s t i c k i n g to one of the simple general p r i n c i p l e s we have l e a r n t and engaging i n more s p e c i f i c reasoning, we have to ask o u r s e l v e s which procedure i s l i k e l y to approximate to the r e s u l t which would be achieved by a reasoner not hampered by human f r a i l t i e s . ... My own i n c l i n a t i o n , i n l i g h t of my assessment f WarnockO): pp. 32-33. $ Hare(3): p. 175. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 80 of my own l i m i t a t i o n s , i s to think that the occasions on which I should be safe i n d e p a r t i n g from my f i r m g e n e r a l p r i n c i p l e s (which are not of extreme g e n e r a l i t y ) are very r a r e . f The c o n t r a s t with Warnock's a n a l y s i s i s s t r i k i n g . Hare c l a i m s that a proponent of AU maximizes u t i l i t y by v a l u i n g and g e n e r a l l y adhering to general p r i n c i p l e s , while Warnock contends that such an agent cannot adhere to s o c i a l norms i n the manner suggested by Hare p r e c i s e l y because she i s committed to ' AU. And i n g e n e r a l , d i s p u t e s about AU's s e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s r e g a r d i n g p o s s i b i l i t i e s of c o o p e r a t i o n t u r n on whether someone committed to AU can employ s o c i a l norms i n d e c i d i n g how to a c t . Hodgson and Warnock contend that such r e l i a n c e i s incompatible with t a k i n g AU as the p e r s o n a l r u l e governing one's conduct, while Singer and Hare argue (each i n h i s own way) that such appeals are r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e to AU agents. We examine the views of Singer and Hare i n t u r n . Singer suggests that Hodgson may be confused about what i s r e q u i r e d f o r an AU community to o b t a i n the b e n e f i t s of s o c i a l p r a c t i c e s l i k e promising. I t may be that i n t a l k i n g of "forming h a b i t s to do a c t s known not to be j u s t i f i e d a c c o r d i n g to [AU]" Hodgson has i n mind the f o r m u l a t i o n of h a b i t s or p r a c t i c e s of always t e l l i n g the t r u t h , and always keeping promises, no matter what the consequences. T h i s c e r t a i n l y would be i n c o n s i s t e n t with [AU], but i t t Hare(3): p. 178. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 81 would a l s o be unnecessary. ... A l l that i s necessary i s that there be h a b i t s of t e l l i n g the t r u t h and keeping promises unless there i s a c l e a r d i s u t i l i t y i n doing so which outweighs the b e n e f i t s of p r e s e r v i n g the u s e f u l p r a c t i c e s and f u l f i l l i n g the e x p e c t a t i o n s aroused.f D e s p i t e the apparent appeal i n Singer's remarks, the s i t u a t i o n i s not as s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d as he p o r t r a y s i t . There i s no reason to suppose, for example, that any p a r t i c u l a r i n s t a n c e of f a i l i n g to f u l f i l l a promise c o u l d undermine an e x i s t i n g s o c i a l p r a c t i c e . $ Bernard W i l l i a m s i s c o r r e c t when he notes: There i s one very general remark that i s worth making about arguments of t h i s s o r t . The c e r t a i n t y that a t t a c h e s to these hypotheses about p o s s i b l e e f f e c t s i s u s u a l l y p r e t t y low; i n some cases, indeed, the h y p o t h e s i s invoked i s so i m p l a u i b l e that i t would s c a r c e l y pass i f i t were not being used to d e l i v e r the r e s p e c t a b l e moral answer, as i n the standard fantasy that one of the e f f e c t s of one's t e l l i n g a p a r t i c u l a r l i e i s to weaken the d i s p o s i t i o n of the world at l a r g e to t e l l the t r u t h . * The q u e s t i o n of whether one ought to keep a promise or t e l l the t r u t h i n any p a r t i c u l a r case mainly depends upon c o n s i d e r a t i o n s s p e c i f i c to the p a r t i c u l a r case. And the same must be t r u e of v o t i n g . Suppose Donna can save h e r s e l f some inconvenience by not b o t h e r i n g to vote. One l i n e of reasoning suggests that s i n c e Donna's vote w i l l make no f S i n g e r ( 2 ) : p. 102. $ We leave a s i d e the q u e s t i o n of whether any s o c i a l p r a c t i c e s c o u l d ever become e s t a b l i s h e d i n an AU community. * W i l l i a m s ( 2 ) : p. 100 . A U and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 82 d i f f e r e n c e to the outcome of the e l e c t i o n , and s i n c e Donna can save h e r s e l f some t r o u b l e by not v o t i n g , i t i s t h e r e f o r e the wrong a c t i o n f o r Donna to vote. Singer o b j e c t s to t h i s l i n e of reasoning. What i f no one votes? The c o n t r i b u t i o n of each vote i s c e r t a i n l y small but i t s t i l l must e x i s t . And such small c o n t r i b u t i o n s to the obtained r e s u l t must be taken i n t o account i n determining the Tightness of an a c t i o n . E s s e n t i a l l y , S i n g e r ' s o b j e c t i o n r e s t s upon the c o n t e n t i o n that Donna's vote does make a d i f f e r e n c e , however s m a l l , to the outcome of the e l e c t i o n . An act can c o n t r i b u t e to a r e s u l t without being e i t h e r a necessary or s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n of i t , and i f i t does c o n t r i b u t e , the a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n should take t h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n i n t o account. The c o n t r i b u t i o n that my vote makes toward the r e s u l t that I judge to be best i n an e l e c t i o n i s a r e l e v a n t c o n s i d e r a t i o n i n d e c i d i n g whether to vote, although i t i s , almost c e r t a i n l y , n e i t h e r a necessary nor s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n of that r e s u l t ; f o r i f t h i s were not so, the a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n view would leave us with a r e s u l t which was unconnected with the a c t i o n s of any of the v o t e r s , s i n c e what i s true of my vote i s e q u a l l y t r u e of every i n d i v i d u a l v o t e . f The suggestion i s that the c o n t r i b u t i o n that any p a r t i c u l a r agent makes to the outcome of the e l e c t i o n by v o t i n g , while almost c e r t a i n l y n e i t h e r a necessary nor s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n of the r e s u l t , p r o v i d e s reason f o r the agent to decide to vote. Yet such a c l a i m seems problematic and t S i n g e r ( 2 ) : p. 103. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 83 appears to run counter to the s p i r i t of AU's o v e r r i d i n g concern with u t i l i t y maximization. The c o n t r i b u t i o n that any p a r t i c u l a r agent makes to general r e l i a n c e on t r u t h - t e l l i n g by t e l l i n g the t r u t h i s n e i t h e r a necessary nor s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n f o r the p r e s e r v a t i o n of general r e l i a n c e on t r u t h - t e l l i n g . And i t i s because the agent may not maximize u t i l i t y by t e l l i n g the t r u t h that d e c i d i n g to t e l l the t r u t h may be the wrong t h i n g to do. But now i t seems that d e c i d i n g to vote i s the r i g h t t h i n g to do, d e s p i t e the f a c t t h at the agent may f a i l to maximize u t i l i t y by doing so. When i t comes to d e c i s i o n s r e g a r d i n g p r a c t i c a l reason, defenders of AU o f t e n d i s p l a y a tendency to overvalue the agent's supposed c o n t r i b u t i o n s when i t s u i t s t h e i r purposes and then to undervalue them when i t does not. So, AU generates the i n t u i t i v e l y c o r r e c t r e s u l t only by o v e r v a l u i n g c o n t r i b u t i o n s . In the v o t i n g case, i t seems that v o t i n g i s more p r o p e r l y construed as the wrong t h i n g f o r the AU agent to do, as long as i t i s reasonably c e r t a i n that enough other agents w i l l be v o t i n g . T h i s p o i n t s to the problem of how an AU agent should i n c o r p o r a t e t h r e s h o l d c o n s i d e r a t i o n s i n t o p r a c t i c a l reason. We take t h i s up i n what f o l l o w s . Hare's response to the problem of c o o p e r a t i o n has a d i f f e r e n t emphasis than S i n g e r ' s . Rather than f o c u s i n g on the agent's a c t u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s , as does Si n g e r , Hare AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 84 emphasizes human f r a i l t y and the tendency to r a t i o n a l i z e d e c i s i o n s i n a way that favours p e r s o n a l u t i l i t y . These c o n s i d e r a t i o n s lead Hare to conclude t h a t , as noted e a r l i e r , there are few occasions when an agent can s a f e l y depart from f a i r l y f i r m general norms in matters of p r a c t i c a l reason. Such a p r o p o s a l i s i n the s p i r i t of Smart's o b s e r v a t i o n s about how an agent best maximizes u t i l i t y . According to Smart, the AU agent: ... may suspect that on some o c c a s i o n s p e r s o n a l b i a s may prevent him from reasoning i n a c o r r e c t u t i l i t a r i a n f a s h i o n . Suppose that he i s t r y i n g to decide between two jobs, one of which i s more h i g h l y p a i d than the other, though he has given an i n f o r m a l promise t h a t he w i l l take the l e s s e r p a i d one. He may w e l l deceive h i m s e l f by und e r e s t i m a t i n g the e f f e c t s of breaking the promise ( i n ca u s i n g l o s s of confidence) and by o v e r e s t i m a t i n g the good he can do i n the h i g h l y p a i d job. He may w e l l f e e l that i f he t r u s t s to the accepted r u l e s he i s more l i k e l y to act i n the way t h a t an unbiased a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n would recommend than he would be i f he t r i e d to e v a l u a t e the consequences of h i s p o s s i b l e a c t i o n s h i m s e l f . t Along much the same l i n e s , Hare suggests that an agent more s u c c e s s f u l l y maximizes u t i l i t y by adopting and f o l l o w i n g c o n v e n t i o n a l norms than by t r y i n g to employ AU d i r e c t l y i n p r a c t i c a l reason. But i t i s important to r e a l i z e that Hare's proposal does not provide s u f f i c i e n t reason f o r the AU agent to a v o i d being a f r e e - r i d e r . t Smart(2): p. 43. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 85 There i s indeed a human tendency toward r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n i n favour of p e r s o n a l d e s i r e s . However, g i v i n g t h i s tendency i t s due i n p r a c t i c a l d e l i b e r a t i o n does not overcome AU's t h r e a t to c o o p e r a t i v e endeavour. Suppose, f o r example, that an AU agent has to decide whether to walk on the grass when there i s a s i g n that p r o h i b i t s doing so. I f the lawn looks unhealthy and there i s thereby reason to suspect t h a t walking on the grass w i l l f u r t h e r c o n t r i b u t e to the unhealthy s t a t e of the grass, then the agent has reason to decide not to walk on the g r a s s . And, acknowledging the fo r c e of Hare's p o i n t , i f the lawn i s i n a q u e s t i o n a b l e or u n c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n , then the AU agent does w e l l simply to obey the p r o h i b i t i o n a g a i n s t walking on the gr a s s , f o r she might be tempted to r a t i o n a l i z e a d e c i s i o n i n favour of walking on the grass on the grounds that i t w i l l not do any damage. However, and t h i s i s the c r u c i a l p o i n t , i f the grass i s completely l u s h and green, then the AU agent should ignore the p r o h i b i t i o n on walking on the grass , s i n c e i f the lawn i s i n such prime c o n d i t i o n a s i n g l e agent walking on i t does no damage. And i f the AU agent knows that no damage w i l l be done, then such a d e c i s i o n does not i n v o l v e r a t i o n a l i z i n g a d e c i s i o n i n favour of a p e r s o n a l p r e f e r e n c e . Such reasoning does not leave AU s e l f - d e f e a t i n g or the AU agent unable t o cooperate f o r mutual b e n e f i t . N e v e r t h e l e s s , there are p o t e n t i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s . For a l l AU AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 86 agents w i l l reason i n t h i s manner. The problem i s t h a t , while no s i n g l e i n s t a n c e of walking a c r o s s the lawn undermines the common good, the i n t e g r i t y of the c o o p e r a t i v e undertaking ( i . e . , p r e s e r v i n g a h e a l t h y , l u s h lawn) i s undermined by a cumulative tendency of many agents f a i l i n g to r e s t r a i n themselves. Of course, AU agents can see t h i s . S t i l l , as AU agents, each w i l l be p r o p e r l y motivated to walk on the grass up u n t i l the p o i n t where f u r t h e r ' v i o l a t i o n s ' w i l l do s u f f i c i e n t damage to s p o i l the p u b l i c good. In t h i s way, AU l e a d s to a kind of 'brinkmanship' with g e n e r a l s o c i a l norms that maintain and that u n d e r l i e any c o o p e r a t i v e endeavour. Any complex system of c o o p e r a t i o n w i l l be a b l e to s u s t a i n some degree of nonconformity with the general r u l e s through which i t produces i t s b e n e f i t s . AU e n j o i n s agents to go i n f o r b e n e f i c i a l nonconformity up to the p o i n t where f u r t h e r nonconformity w i l l (or w i l l l i k e l y ) c o n t r i b u t e to a t h r e s h o l d accumulation of ' v i o l a t i o n s ' t h at t hreatens the i n t e g r i t y of the system and thus i t s b e n e f i t s . So, at l e a s t i n peace time, one should walk o f f guard duty each time t h a t , by doing so, one can i n c r e a s e the p l e a s u r e s of one's f r i e n d s enough to o f f s e t whatever minuscule damage one might do to the g e n e r a l system of m i l i t a r y o rder. It i s important to d i s t i n g u i s h between what AU agents can reasonably forsee happening as a r e s u l t of everyone a c t i n g on the AU p r i n c i p l e and what AU agents can be AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 87 motivated morally to do. Every AU agent must act to maximize u t i l i t y , even i f the eventual tendency of everyone's so a c t i n g w i l l be to t h r e a t e n the s t a b i l i t y of c e r t a i n s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s and c o o p e r a t i v e e f f o r t s by t a k i n g them somewhere near to the b r i n k of d i s a s t e r . Returning to the m i l i t a r y s i t u a t i o n , there i s a c e r t a i n l e v e l of c o o p e r a t i o n and s u b o r d i n a t i o n to orders that i s necessary to maintain the i n t e g r i t y of the m i l i t a r y . Yet, as above, i t i s not d i f f i c u l t to imagine very many cases i n which i n d i v i d u a l s o l d i e r s v i r t u a l l y know that they w i l l maximize u t i l i t y by not f o l l o w i n g o r d e r s . As committed AU agents, i t seems that the s o l d i e r s should not f o l l o w orders under these c o n d i t i o n s . And t h i s remains the case even though each s o l d i e r knows that the i n t e g r i t y of the m i l i t a r y e s tablishment can only absorb so many v i o l a t i o n s before i t i s undermined. However, u n t i l the i n d i v i d u a l s o l d i e r has reason to b e l i e v e that the number of v i o l a t i o n s are beginning to take the system to the brink of s e r i o u s damage, she should a c t so as to maximize u t i l i t y and thus she should not obey her o r d e r s . I t seems that while AU i s not s t r i c t l y s e l f - d e f e a t i n g , i t does have a 'brinkmanship' problem. In a very r e a l sense AU agents are p a r a s i t i c on the i n s t i t u t i o n s of s o c i e t y , and t h e i r moral theory r e q u i r e s them to be so. The AU agent w i l l o f t e n l a c k any reason to conform to general r u l e s d e f i n i n g AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 88 systems of c o o p e r a t i o n u n t i l the frequency of nonconformity begins to threaten.the system i t s e l f . We now turn to a r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t approach to AU's problems r e g a r d i n g s e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s and s o c i a l c o o p e r a t i o n . D. AU: DECISION-PROCEDURE AND/OR RIGHTNESS-MAKING TRAIT Issues i n v o l v i n g AU's adequacy as an account of o b j e c t i v e Tightness are d i s t i n c t from the q u e s t i o n of AU's adequacy as a guide f o r conduct. Many d i s c u s s i o n s of AU seem to run these two i s s u e s t o g e t h e r . 'What c o n s t i t u t e s a r i g h t a c t i o n ? ' and 'How does (or should) an agent go about t r y i n g to do what i s r i g h t ? ' are d i f f e r e n t q u e s t i o n s . I t i s fundamentally mistaken to assume that i n c o n s i d e r i n g the f i r s t of these q u e s t i o n s one a u t o m a t i c a l l y addresses the oth e r . Recognizing t h i s may r e c a s t much of the d i s c u s s i o n of whether AU i s s e l f - d e f e a t i n g . R. Eugene Bales c o n s i d e r s arguments that purport to demonstrate that AU i s s e l f - d e f e a t i n g . H is c e n t r a l c o n t e n t i o n i s that these arguments f a i l to a p p r e c i a t e that q u e s t i o n s about AU as a rightness-making c h a r a c t e r i s t i c are d i s t i n c t from the q u e s t i o n whether AU i s an adequate decision-making procedure. He c l a i m s t h a t : . . . the arguments I am c h a l l e n g i n g gain t h e i r p l a u s i b i l i t y from p l a y i n g the one o f f a g a i n s t the ot h e r . My c l a i m i s that a proposed e t h i c a l t h e o r y — a n d I have [AU] i n m i n d — c o u l d p r o v i d e a c o r r e c t account of right-making c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 89 without s p e l l i n g out a procedure which, i f f o l l o wed, would crank out i n p r a c t i c e a c o r r e c t and immediately h e l p f u l answer to q u e s t i o n s l i k e , "Ought I i n t h i s case to use enough gas and e l e c t r i c i t y to keep my home warm?"f AU p r o v i d e s an account of what makes an a c t i o n o b j e c t i v e l y r i g h t but i t seems that AU's c r i t i c s (and defenders a l i k e ) have p o r t r a y e d AU as i f i t a l s o p r o v i d e s the c r i t e r i o n f o r d e c i d i n g how to act i n p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n s . $ There i s , however, no obvious reason why one should expect that an answer to the q u e s t i o n about o b j e c t i v e Tightness should a l s o serve as the answer to concerns that i n v o l v e p r a c t i c a l reason. Bales suggests that p r o v i d i n g an answer to one of the q u e s t i o n s i s not even r e l e v a n t to attempts to answer the other. The ... argument[s] I am c h a l l e n g i n g may be t e l l i n g c r i t i q u e s of the de c i s i o n - p r o c e d u r e most f r e q u e n t l y a s s o c i a t e d with [AU], as a decision-making procedure f o r [AUT, but I cannot see that they are even r e l e v a n t to the q u e s t i o n of whether [AU], as i t i s u s u a l l y formulated, i s t r u e . * In any event, i t c e r t a i n l y seems r i g h t that there i s no reason to assume that an answer to the one q u e s t i o n e n t a i l s t B a l e s ( 1 ) : pp. 261-262. $ Hodgson s e t s h i s d i s c u s s i o n i n the context of every member of the community being such that he accepts AU as, "... h i s only p e r s o n a l r u l e , and attempts to a c t i n accordance with i t . " Hodgson(l): p. 1. Warnock t a l k s of AU being, "... each man's so l e c r i t e r i o n of p r a c t i c a l d e c i s i o n . " Warnock(l): p. 32. And Singer accepts Hodgson's framework, and d i s c u s s e s the s i t u a t i o n in which people accept AU as, "... t h e i r p e r s o n a l r u l e and always t r y to act on i t . " S i n g e r ( 2 ) : p. 98. * B a l e s ( 1 ) : p. 263. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 90 an answer to the other. The assumption which seems to u n d e r l i e the arguments we are c o n s i d e r i n g ... i s that acceptance of the [AU] account of right-making c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s somehow commits one a p r i o r i to a p a r t i c u l a r decision-making procedure: the procedure of e s t i m a t i n g and comparing probable consequences of a l t e r n a t i v e a c t s . T h i s i s an erroneous assumption.f Thus, even i_f AU f a i l s i n terms of p r o v i d i n g a moral guide f o r p r a c t i c a l reason, i t does not f o l l o w (at l e a s t without argument) that AU i s f a u l t y as an account of the rightness-making c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . There i s no i n c o n s i s t e n c y in c l a i m i n g that AU p r o v i d e s the c o r r e c t d e f i n i t i o n of o b j e c t i v e T i g h t n e s s , w h i l e , f o r example, c l a i m i n g that f o l l o w i n g c o n v e n t i o n a l moral norms i s a c o r r e c t account of the a p p r o p r i a t e decision-making p r o c e d u r e S o , much of the standard c r i t i c i s m of AU f a i l s because i t does not f u l l y a p p r e c i a t e the d i s t i n c t i o n between o b j e c t i v e Tightness and p r a c t i c a l reason. There i s something wrongheaded about Bales' response to t B a l e s ( 1 ) : p. 263. $ While Hare does not employ the terminology of 'rightness-making c h a r a c t e r i s t i c ' and 'decision-making procedure', h i s d i s c u s s i o n of c o o p e r a t i v e m i l i t a r y a c t i o n s seems s e n s i t i v e to, and cognisant of, the d i s t i n c t i o n . What makes an a c t i o n r i g h t i s that i t i s conducive to the g e n e r a l good of humanity but t h i s does not e n t a i l t h a t people should make judgements of p r a c t i c a l reason on t h i s b a s i s . How one decides what a c t i o n s to perform i s a d i f f e r e n t i s s u e than what a c t i o n s are r i g h t . T h i s d i s t i n c t i o n a l s o c l a r i f i e s Hare's p r o p o s a l that one should overvalue the r u l e s . Such o v e r v a l u i n g i s a decision-making procedure that may be conducive to promoting a c t i o n s that are o b j e c t i v e l y r i g h t . AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 91 c r i t i c i s m s of AU concerning the achievement of mutual b e n e f i t s through c o o p e r a t i o n . The response i n v o l v e s r e d e f i n i n g the t r a d i t i o n a l scope and f u n c t i o n of AU so as to d i s s o l v e r a t h e r than solve the p o t e n t i a l problems. The rightness-making c h a r a c t e r i s t i c has been t r a d i t i o n a l l y very c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d with a decision-making procedure f o r AU, p r o v i d i n g the decision-making procedure except when there are reasons f o r r e l y i n g on something e l s e — s p o n t a n i e t y , human f r a i l t y , i n s u f f i c i e n t knowledge, lack of time and the l i k e . A f t e r a l l , i t i s t h i s c o n n e c t i o n that has made AU both a r e f o r m i s t and a p r a c t i c a l theory. Bales u t t e r l y f a i l s to recognize the h i s t o r i c a l s p i r i t of AU. For t h i s reason alone, B a l e s ' d i s c u s s i o n i s d i s s a t i s f y i n g . What does Bales t h i n k the best decision-making procedure f o r maximizing u t i l i t y i s ? In l i g h t of the weight he attaches to the d i s t i n c t i o n between o b j e c t i v e T i g h t n e s s and p r a c t i c a l reason, h i s answer i s p r o b l e m a t i c . E s s e n t i a l l y , d e s p i t e h i s p r o t e s t s a g a i n s t popular p o r t r a y a l s of AU, Bales p r o v i d e s a t r a d i t i o n a l AU answer. Although the a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n ' s account of rightness-making c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s p l a c e s no a p r i o r i l i m i t a t i o n s on the decision-making procedures he adopts, there i s a sense i n which h i s account does d i c t a t e h i s procedures. His account d i c t a t e s h i s procedures i n s o f a r as, but only i n s o f a r as, the procedures are or are not r e l i a b l e methods f o r s i n g l i n g out, under immediately h e l p f u l d e s c r i p t i o n s , which of the a c t s open to him at a given time would maximize AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 92 u t i l i t y . Here I echo the c l a i m , f r e q u e n t l y made by a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n s , t h a t use of rules-of-thumb, game theory, or the l i k e , may be j u s t i f i e d on a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n grounds.t The acceptance of AU as a rightness-making c h a r a c t e r i s t i c may p l a c e no a p r i o r i l i m i t s on the decision-making procedure. But acceptance of the AU d e f i n i t i o n of r i g h t a c t i o n i m p l i e s that one should d i r e c t l y attempt to maximize u t i l i t y u n l e s s there are reasons to the c o n t r a r y . Only i n t h i s case should one abandon the d i r e c t employment of AU and seek an a l t e r n a t i v e means for d e c i d i n g how to a c t . Or at l e a s t t h i s must be the case so long as the d e f i n i t i o n of moral Tightness i s supposed to have some p r a c t i c a l b e a r i n g on the moral l i f e . In the end, Bales' a r t i c u l a t i o n of the d i s t i n c t i o n between rightness-making c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and decision-making procedures merely r e s t a t e s and extends the idea t h a t ' r u l e s of thumb' can have a l e g i t i m a t e p l a c e i n the c a l c u l a t i o n s of agents attempting to maximize u t i l i t y . I t has, a f t e r a l l , been p e r f e c t l y c l e a r t h at rightness-making c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are c o n c e p t u a l l y d i s t i n c t from decision-making procedures. Otherwise we would not be a l r e a d y f a m i l i a r with the l e g i t i m a c y of r u l e s of thumb i n AU. Bales' d i s c u s s i o n does not represent any r e a l departure from t r a d i t i o n a l c o n s t r u a l s of AU. And i t f a i l s to provide AU with any a d d i t i o n a l t B a l e s ( 1 ) : p. 264. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 93 t h e o r e t i c a l resources f o r addr e s s i n g concerns about s e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s and c o o p e r a t i o n f o r mutual b e n e f i t . What our d i s c u s s i o n of Bales' d i s c u s s i o n does focus a t t e n t i o n on i s that AU i s supposed to be a p r a c t i c a l theory which p l a y s a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n an agent's p r a c t i c a l d e l i b e r a t i o n s . Acknowledging that AU's t h e o r e t i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s concern i t s brinkmanship with v a l u a b l e s o c i a l norms, and not s e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s , we now t u r n to c o n s i d e r how e f f e c t i v e AU can be as a p r a c t i c a l theory.• E. AU, FAMINE RELIEF AND INDETERMINACY One of the supposed strengthes of AU i s i t s fundamental r o l e i n d e l i b e r a t i o n s about how agents ought to a c t . From Bentham's hedonic c a l c u l u s to Si n g e r ' s concerns about the treatment of nonhuman animals, a c e n t r a l theme of AU has been i t s p l a c e i n p r a c t i c a l reason. The u t i l i t a r i a n c r i t e r i o n , then, i s designed to h e l p a person, who c o u l d do v a r i o u s t h i n g s i f he chose to do them, to decide which of these t h i n g s he should do. His u t i l i t a r i a n d e l i b e r a t i o n i s one of the c a u s a l antecedents of h i s a c t i o n , and i t would be p o i n t l e s s i f i t were n o t . f What c o n s t i t u t e s r i g h t a c t i o n i n the face of world famine and poverty p r o v i d e s a u s e f u l v e h i c l e f o r r e f l e c t i n g upon Smart's i n s i s t a n c e that AU would be p o i n t l e s s unless i t were u s e f u l as a guide f o r conduct. t Smart(2): p. 46. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 94 Much of the disagreement concerning world poverty, as i n moral philosophy g e n e r a l l y , i s at such a fundamental l e v e l t h a t i t i s d i f f i c u l t to see how one c o u l d begin to r e s o l v e i t . Consider, f o r example, the f o l l o w i n g remarks made by G a r r e t t Hardin. We cannot s a f e l y d i v i d e the wealth e q u i t a b l y among a l l peoples as long as people reproduce at d i f f e r e n t r a t e s . To do so would guarantee that our g r a n d c h i l d r e n , and everyone e l s e ' s g r a n d c h i l d r e n , would have only a r u i n e d world to i n h a b i t . ... We should c a l l t h i s p o i n t to the a t t e n t i o n of those who, from a commendable love of j u s t i c e and e q u a l i t y , would i n s t i t u t e a system of the commons, e i t h e r i n the form of a world food bank, or of u n r e s t r i c t e d immigration. We must convince them i f we wish to save at l e a s t some p a r t s of the world from environmental r u i n . f Yet, at l e a s t i n some cases, i t i s not c l e a r what such i n d i v i d u a l s need to be convinced o f . Hardin seems to t h i n k that g e t t i n g people to r e a l i z e the expectable consequences of f o l l o w i n g s p e c i f i c p o l i c i e s w i l l g i ve them s u f f i c i e n t reason f o r abandoning the p o l i c i e s . At l e a s t i n the famine case, Hardin understands the 'Tightness' of a s p e c i f i c p o l i c y i n terms of the consequences of adhering to the p o l i c y . However, even assuming that Hardin's account of the r e s u l t s of adhering to these p o l i c i e s i s a c c u r a t e , not a l l i n d i v i d u a l s w i l l be convinced of the need f o r change. One person who advocates a p r i n c i p l e of e q u i t y , even in t H a r d i n ( 1 ) : p. 2 1 . AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 95 the face of 'environmental r u i n ' , and worse, i s Richard Watson. We should share a l l food e q u a l l y , at l e a s t u n t i l everyone i s w e l l - n o u r i s h e d . Besides food, a l l the n e c e s s i t i e s of l i f e should be shared, at l e a s t u n t i l everyone i s adequately s u p p l i e d with a humane minimum. The hard c o n c l u s i o n remains that we should share a l l food e q u a l l y even i f t h i s means that everyone s t a r v e s and the human sp e c i e s becomes e x t i n c t . ... But t h i s g r i s l y prospect does not show that anything i s wrong with the p r i n c i p l e of e q u i t y . f R a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t conceptions of m o r a l i t y , and what c o n s t i t u t e adequate c r i t e r i a f o r a s s e s s i n g moral p r i n c i p l e s , stand behind these two p o s i t i o n s . The b a s i c d i f f e r e n c e i n these a l t e r n a t i v e conceptions i s captured by the d i s t i n c t i o n between d e o n t o l o g i c a l and c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s t accounts of m o r a l i t y . Watson advocates the adoption of the p r i n c i p l e of e q u i t y , r e g a r d l e s s of the consequences that r e s u l t from i t s ad o p t i o n . t In c o n t r a s t , Hardin appears to accept the view that the consequences of f o l l o w i n g a p r i n c i p l e determine i t s Ti g h t n e s s . * Rather than attempting to s e t t l e the d i s p u t e t Watson(1): p. 123. i W a t s o n ( l ) : p. 119. "There i s a s t r i c t analogy here between adhering to moral p r i n c i p l e s f o r the sake of being moral, and adhering to C h r i s t i a n p r i n c i p l e s f o r .the sake of being C h r i s t i a n . The moral world c o n t a i n s p i t s and l i o n s , but one looks always to the highest l i g h t . The u l t i m a t e t e s t always harks to the hi g h e s t p r i n c i p l e — r e c a n t or d i e — a n d i t i s p a t h e t i c to p r o f e s s m o r a l i t y i f one q u i t s when the going gets rough." T h i s r e i n f o r c e s the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Watson as a d e o n t o l o g i s t . * Joseph F l e t c h e r claims that Hardin "... embraces the a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n method of s i t u a t i o n e t h i c s " . See F l e t c h e r ( l ) : p. 113. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 96 between d e o n t o l o g i c a l and c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s t c o nceptions of m o r a l i t y , our present concern i s how world poverty i s addressed w i t h i n an AU framework. Even with d i s c u s s i o n r e s t r i c t e d to an AU framework, there i s room f o r s e r i o u s disagreement. Singer, an advocate of massive f o r e i g n a i d , r e c o g n i z e s the b a s i s f o r an o b j e c t i o n i n terms of the consequences of p r o v i d i n g such a i d . Perhaps the most s e r i o u s o b j e c t i o n to the argument that we have an o b l i g a t i o n to a s s i s t i s that s i n c e the major cause of a b s o l u t e poverty i s o v e r p o p u l a t i o n , h e l p i n g those now i n poverty w i l l only ensure that yet more people are born to l i v e i n poverty in the f u t u r e . f In e x p l i c a t i n g t h i s o b j e c t i o n , Singer makes d i r e c t r e f e r e n c e to Hardin, and to the l i f e b o a t metaphor that Hardin uses i n support of t h i s o b j e c t i o n . We i n r i c h n a t i o n s are l i k e the occupants of a crowded l i f e b o a t a d r i f t i n a sea f u l l of drowning people. If we t r y to save the drowning by b r i n g i n g them aboard our boat w i l l be overloaded and we s h a l l a l l drown. Since i t i s b e t t e r that some s u r v i v e than none, we should leave the others to drown. In the world today, a c c o r d i n g to Hardin, ' l i f e b o a t e t h i c s ' apply. The r i c h should leave the poor to s t a r v e , f o r otherwise the poor w i l l drag the r i c h down with them.$ U n l i k e Watson, Singer o b v i o u s l y does not q u e s t i o n the AU framework. Rather, he says that Hardin's argument "... must f S i n g e r ( 6 ) : p. T7 5. $ S i n g e r ( 6 ) : p. 175 . AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 97 be t a c k l e d on i t s own grounds, w i t h i n the framework of c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s t e t h i c s " . f Hardin, a neo-Malthusian, c l a i m s that the only way to e l i m i n a t e famine i s to l i m i t p o p u l a t i o n ; and s i n c e famine s t r i c k e n c o u n t r i e s r e f u s e to l i m i t p o p u l a t i o n s , famine i s i n e v i t a b l e . In c o n t r a s t , Singer, a d e v e l o p m e n t a l i s t , sees the need f o r p o l i t i c a l and economic change as a p r e c o n d i t i o n f o r reasonable e x p e c t a t i o n s of p o p u l a t i o n l i m i t a t i o n or r e d u c t i o n . Thus, massive economic a i d u l t i m a t e l y can serve to l i m i t p o p u l a t i o n growth.$ Disagreement of t h i s nature can leave the agent i n a conundrum over the use of AU. AU i s o f t e n s a i d to be determinate because i t i s p o s s i b l e , at l e a s t i n theory, to assess each a c t i o n i n terms of whether i t does maximize u t i l i t y . However, there c l e a r l y are d i f f i c u l t i e s p e r t a i n i n g to the p r a c t i c a l employment of AU. As we have seen, much of the disagreement between Singer and Hardin turns on d i f f i c u l t i e s and u n c e r t a i n t i e s of t h i s k i n d . P r e c i s e l y because r e s u l t s are fundamental i n u t i l i t a r i a n moral t h i n k i n g , i t i s deeply dependent on acc u r a t e (even i f imprecise) i n f o r m a t i o n about l i k e l y r e s u l t s . ... I t i s not s u p r i s i n g that u t i l i t a r i a n s d i s a g r e e over famine and development p o l i c i e s . For u t i l i t a r i a n s , i t i s r e s u l t s and not t S i n g e r ( 6 ) : p. 176. i No attempt i s made here to assess the r e l a t i v e m e r i t s of Hardin's and Singer's a l t e r n a t i v e views. For an e x p l i c i t d i s c u s s i o n and comparison of Hardin and Singer, see O ' N e i l l O ) . AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 98 p r i n c i p l e s or i n t e n t i o n s that count. The c a l c u l a t i o n of r e s u l t s must t h e r e f o r e be taken s e r i o u s l y and i s n ' t adequate i f i t n e g l e c t s remote and long-term consequences i n g l o b a l d e l i b e r a t i o n s . ... If we are to work out the consequences of a l t e r n a t i v e a v a i l a b l e a c t i o n s and p o l i c i e s , as u t i l i t a r i a n i s m demands, we s h a l l r e p e a t e d l y f i n d o u r s e l v e s c o n f r o n t e d with impossible c a l c u l a t i o n s , f Besides the p r a c t i c a l i m p o s s i b i l i t y of determining the consequences with r e s p e c t to v a r i o u s p a r t i c u l a r p o l i c i e s r e g a r d i n g a s i n g l e i s s u e l i k e famine r e l i e f , numerous other s o c i a l concerns must enter the t o t a l u t i l i t a r i a n p i c t u r e as w e l l . Think, f o r example, of nuclear p r o l i f e r a t i o n , g l o b a l p o l l u t i o n and the r a p i d consumption of non-renewable res o u r c e s , to mention only a few such i s s u e s . Not only must a determinate employment of AU a s c e r t a i n the consequences of a c t i o n s with respect to famine r e l i e f , the consequences for the e n t i r e range of competing s o c i a l i s s u e s a l s o have to be c a l c u l a t e d . AU has the problem of how to p r o p o r t i o n a c t i o n between m u l t i p l e s o c i a l goals i n circumstances n e c e s s a r i l y i n v o l v i n g t r a d e - o f f s . Even r e s t r i c t i n g o u r s e l v e s to q u e s t i o n s of monetary donations alone, the problems i n v o l v e d i n determining the r i g h t a c t i o n are c l e a r l y enormous. Does one donate money to famine r e l i e f or to environmental concerns? Assuming the r i g h t a c t i o n favours famine r e l i e f , does one support e f f o r t s d i r e c t e d toward p o p u l a t i o n c o n t r o l t O ' N e i l l O ) : p. 315. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 99 or toward e f f o r t s t o feed the hungry? Such p r a c t i c a l indeterminacy should not be underestimated. Yet, s i n c e AU i s to serve as a guide f o r conduct, there i s no way to a v o i d such q u e s t i o n s . And the s i t u a t i o n i s even more complex than t h i s . Not o n l y does the AU agent face impossible p r a c t i c a l u t i l i t y c a l c u l a t i o n s both f o r the long-term consequences of p o l i c i e s and f o r the competing s o c i a l g o a l s , AU's 'brinkmanship' problem r e t u r n s to r a i s e a d d i t i o n a l d i f f i c u l t i e s i n p r a c t i c a l reason f o r the agent. C h r i s t i n e i s a member of a r e l a t i v e l y prosperous s o c i e t y ( i . e . , the Western world today), and she buys a ( Z ) . f T h i s a c t i o n i s wrong, s i n c e there i s reason to b e l i e v e that i t f a i l s to maximize u t i l i t y . The r i g h t a c t i o n would be, f o r example, to donate the purchase p r i c e of the (Z) to famine r e l i e f (on the assumption that t h i s produces g r e a t e r u t i l i t y ) . And furthermore, on any occasion when she buys a (Z) her a c t i o n i s wrong, and the r i g h t a c t i o n would be to send that money to famine r e l i e f as w e l l . So, i t seems that i f C h r i s t i n e ' s a c t i o n s are a l l to be r i g h t a c t i o n s , the r e s u l t i s t h a t she i s reduced to a l e v e l of marginal u t i l i t y comparable to those that she wanted to h e l p . Any time one of C h r i s t i n e ' s a c t i o n s produces l e s s u t i l i t y than c o u l d be produced w i t h a c o n t r i b u t i o n to famine r e l i e f , then t A (Z) Ts any n o n e s s e n t i a l consumer good or s e r v i c e . Examples are b i c y c l e s , microwave ovens, s t y l i s h c l o t h e s and meals in r e s t a u r a n t s . AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 100 C h r i s t i n e ' s a c t i o n i s wrong. I t would appear then that the eventual consequences of r i g h t a c t i o n s being u n i v e r s a l l y performed by the agents of a prosperous s o c i e t y are that a l l the agents reduce themselves to l e v e l s of marginal u t i l i t y r e l a t i v e to the world's l e a s t f o r t u n a t e people. Yet i t would serve no u t i l i t a r i a n purpose over the long run i f the economy and c u l t u r e of an a f f l u e n t s o c i e t y were destroyed, or s e r i o u s l y c r i p p l e d , by i t s members g i v i n g most of what they had away i n an e f f o r t to f i g h t e v i l s l i k e world famine. So, e i t h e r the massive e v i l of world famine would have to be overcome w e l l short of the a f f l u e n t s o c i e t y ' s reducing i t s e l f to a s t a t e of comparable marginal u t i l i t y with those i t wants to h e l p , or e l s e the g i v i n g would have to stop w e l l short of t h i s p o i n t i n order to ensure the c o n t i n u a t i o n of the economy and c u l t u r e that i s able to be of some h e l p . Since i t i s reasonable to assume a v i r t u a l l y inexhaustable world need, there must be l i m i t s imposed on the g i v i n g i n order to prevent the exhaustion of the s o c i e t y , and the economy that w i l l be a b l e to continue to help f o r g e n e r a t i o n s i n t o the f u t u r e i f i t r e t a i n s i t s v i t a l i t y . The d i f f i c u l t y now f a c i n g the agent i s analogous to the one found i n the v o t i n g s i t u a t i o n . The agent may do a l l that she can over the course of her l i f e to maximize u t i l i t y . But, with r e s p e c t to famine r e l i e f , i f everyone does t h i s AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 101 over a s i n g l e g eneration the economy w i l l be brought to r u i n . J u s t as i t i s never- her f a i l u r e to vote which undermines the democratic process, i t i s never her a c t i o n s alone that wreck the economy. So how can the AU agent take t h i s i n t o account? In both s i t u a t i o n s the answer r e l a t e s to t h r e s h o l d phenomena and i n v o l v e s AU's c a p a c i t y to assess the c o n t r i b u t i o n that a c t i o n s make to a t h r e s h o l d accumulation that t h r e a t e n s the i n t e g r i t y and w e l l - b e i n g of the system. So, the s p e c i f i c problem posed by the famine r e l i e f case concerns how AU agents are supposed to take account of the p o s s i b l e general economic d e c l i n e of t h e i r s o c i e t y brought about by everyone g i v i n g to famine r e l i e f to the p o i n t of comparable marginal u t i l i t y . Besides expectable s h i f t s i n economic p a t t e r n s , there i s the need to assess t h r e s h o l d e f f e c t s . t The agents begin to see that t h e i r economic system i s undergoing s t r a i n . Perhaps there i s not enough s u r p l u s to maintain s c i e n t i f i c r e s e a r c h , and the a r t s are i n t r o u b l e , and the l i k e . So, the agents reassess the u t i l i t i e s of c o n t i n u i n g to c o n t r i b u t e to famine r e l i e f at the c u r r e n t l e v e l s . That i s , each agent sees, and i s perhaps t Issues p e r t a i n i n g t o the consequences of s h i f t i n g economic p a t t e r n s i n l i g h t of a s i g n i f i c a n t r e d i s t r i b u t i o n of the world's wealth are extremely complex in themselves. Gary Wedeking has p o i n t e d out that one r e s u l t of any s i g n i f i c a n t r e d i s t r i b u t i o n of the world's wealth would be that the t h i r d world would then serve as a market f o r the consumer goods produced i n today's a f f l u e n t s o c i e t i e s . So, an agent i n an a f f l u e n t s o c i e t y can i n d i r e c t l y c o n t r i b u t e t o the demand f o r consumer goods by d i r e c t l y c o n t r i b u t i n g to the e l i m i n a t i o n of t h i r d world poverty. AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 1 0 2 now p u b l i c l y encouraged to see, that her f u r t h e r g i v i n g i s c o n t r i b u t i n g to a t r e n d that i s weakening the s o c i e t y ' s a b i l i t y to b u i l d f o r the f u t u r e and remain economically powerful. The concerns i n the v o t i n g and famine cases are e s s e n t i a l l y the same. AU p r o v i d e s no reason f o r an agent to vote u n l e s s there i s reason to b e l i e v e that not v o t i n g c o n t r i b u t e s to a t r e n d that t h r e a t e n s the i n t e g r i t y of the democratic p r o c e s s . In other words, AU e n j o i n s agents not to vote as long as enough others are v o t i n g . Somewhat s t r a n g e l y , the same reasoning p r e v a i l s i n the famine r e l i e f c ase. The AU agent should g i v e to famine r e l i e f and not purchase consumer goods unless there i s reason to b e l i e v e that not purchasing consumer goods c o n t r i b u t e s to a t r e n d that threatens the ongoing s t r e n g t h of the economy. While the reasoning i n the two cases i s analogous, i t may not appear to be so because the immediate b e n e f i t s of not v o t i n g are u s u a l l y enjoyed by the agent who does not vote, while the immediate b e n e f i t s of g i v i n g to famine r e l i e f are u s u a l l y enjoyed by agents other than the one who does the g i v i n g . However, t h i s i s not a m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t d i f f e r e n c e , f o r what matters i s the q u a n t i t y of u t i l i t y produced and not which agents experience i t . Just as AU i s not s e l f - d e f e a t i n g i n terms of the b e n e f i t s of democracy, i t a l s o i s not with r e s p e c t to the AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 103 b e n e f i t s of a healthy and v i t a l economy. AU has the t h e o r e t i c a l resources to a v o i d the l o s s of the b e n e f i t s of democracy by h a l t i n g a non-voting trend; and i t can h a l t the c o l l a p s e of a t h r i v i n g economy by c o r r e c t i n g f o r AU overzealeousness, should i t ever need t o . AU, t h e r e f o r e , i s not s e l f - d e f e a t i n g . But AU does i n v i t e a brinkmanship problem. In both the v o t i n g case and the case of famine r e l i e f agents have no reason to reverse t h e i r behaviour u n t i l there i s reason to thi n k that f a i l i n g to do so c o u l d t h r e a t e n the common good. AU's way of a v o i d i n g the charge of s e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s emphasizes that AU i s t h e o r e t i c a l l y determinate, f o r i t i s , at l e a s t i n p r i n c i p l e , p o s s i b l e to d i s c o v e r what a c t i o n of those open to an agent w i l l serve to maximize u t i l i t y . However, AU p r i d e s i t s e l f on more than being t h e o r e t i c a l l y determinate. As we have seen Smart i n s i s t , AU i s to provide p r a c t i c a l guidance i n the d e l i b e r a t i o n s of an agent. But, as i s apparent from the d i s c u s s i o n of AU and famine r e l i e f , AU i s t e r r i b l y indeterminate with respect to p r a c t i c a l reason. How i s the agent to decide which s o c i a l p o l i c i e s to support? And i n what p r o p o r t i o n s ? And to what p o i n t of p e r s o n a l s a c r i f i c e , which, a f t e r a l l , w i l l a f f e c t her a b i l i t y to give more i n the futu r e ? I t seems u t t e r l y hopeless to t r y to determine the answers to these q u e s t i o n s . A l l of which deeply undermines AU's c l a i m s to p r a c t i c a l i t y and AU and the Issue of S e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s / 104 u s e f u l n e s s . I V . T H E A U M O R A L A G E N T : U T I L I T Y M A C H I N E A fundamental ground f o r s k e p t i c i s m about AU i s suggested by W i l l i a m s when he i n s i s t s t h a t "... the f i r s t q u e s t i o n f o r philosophy i s not 'do you agree with u t i l i t a r i a n i s m ' s answer?' but 'do you r e a l l y accept u t i l i t a r i a n i s m ' s way of l o o k i n g at the q u e s t i o n ? ' " f As Wi l l i a m s says, the aim of i n v e s t i g a t i n g AU: ... i s not j u s t to o f f e r or e l i c i t moral i n t u i t i o n s a g a i n s t which u t i l i t a r i a n i s m can be t e s t e d . Although i n the end everyone has to r e f l e c t , i n r e l a t i o n to q u e s t i o n s l i k e these, what he would be prepared to l i v e with, the aim of the examples and t h e i r d i s c u s s i o n i s not j u s t to ask a q u e s t i o n about that and wait f o r the answer: r a t h e r , the aim i s to l e a d i n t o r e f l e c t i o n s which might show up i n g r e a t e r depth what would be i n v o l v e d i n l i v i n g with these i d e a s . $ What would i t be l i k e to a c t u a l l y l i v e i n a world i n which moral e v a l u a t i o n s were made i n AU terms as a matter of course? A . A U A N D T H E R E I T E R A T I V E A R G U M E N T Within the AU c l a s s i f i c a t i o n scheme what makes an a c t i o n r i g h t i s that i t maximizes u t i l i t y . So, c o n s i d e r a t i o n s about how to c l a s s i f y an agent's a c t i o n r e s t upon whether the a c t i o n maximizes u t i l i t y . Even d i s c o u n t i n g the p r a c t i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s that e x i s t because of f a u l t y or t W i l l i a m s ( 2 ) : p. 78. i W i l l i a m s ( 2 ) : p. 78. 105 The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / l06 imprecise e m p i r i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n , i t seems p l a u s i b l e to c l a i m that the a c t i o n s of most agents g e n e r a l l y f a i l to s a t i s f y AU. As Singer notes, t h i s i s not very s u r p r i s i n g s i n c e : ... i t i s ... very d i f f i c u l t to obey a r u l e which commands us to save a l l the l i v e s we can. To l i v e a comfortable, or even l u x u r i o u s l i f e i t i s not necessary to k i l l anyone; but i t i s necessary to allow some to d i e whom we might have saved, f o r the money that we need to l i v e comfortably c o u l d have been g i v e n away. ... Saving every l i f e we c o u l d would mean c u t t i n g our standard of l i v i n g down to the bare e s s e n t i a l s needed to keep us a l i v e . f I t would thereby seem to f o l l o w that AU c l a s s i f i e s any a c t i o n that an agent does not need to perform, past the bare minimum necessary to s u r v i v e , which does not move i n the d i r e c t i o n of reducing world famine and poverty as wrong. T h i s leaves almost none of an agent's p a r t i c u l a r a c t i o n s p r o p e r l y construed as r i g h t or a l l r i g h t . However, t h i s c o n c l u s i o n i s too extreme. Singer e x e r c i s e s care not to o v e r s t a t e what AU r e q u i r e s , and he q u a l i f i e s h i s above statement i n a foo t n o t e . S t r i c t l y , we would need to cut down to the minimum l e v e l compatible with earning the income which, a f t e r p r o v i d i n g f o r our needs, l e f t us the most to give away. Thus i f my present p o s i t i o n earns me, say [$]10,000 a year, but r e q u i r e s me to spend [$] 1,000 a year on d r e s s i n g r e s p e c t a b l y and m a i n t a i n i n g a c a r , I cannot save more people by g i v i n g away the car and c l o t h e s i f that w i l l mean t a k i n g a job which, although t Singer (6): p. i~63. The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 107 i t does not involve. me i n these expenses, earns me only [$]5,000. f These q u a l i f i c a t i o n s are important in a v a r i e t y of ways. They p l a y a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e in. any p r a c t i c a l response to the c l a i m that AU r e q u i r e s that a l l the members of an a f f l u e n t s o c i e t y c o n t r i b u t e a l l , or n e a r l y a l l , t h e i r resources to world famine r e l i e f . $ Some c o n t r i b u t i o n s are r e q u i r e d but too many c o n t r i b u t i o n s a c t u a l l y would prove to be c o u n t e r p r o d u c t i v e . Any t r a n s f e r of wealth must be at a pace which a l l o w s , f o r example, the r e t e n t i o n of the means of p r o d u c t i o n . When now p o v e r t y - s t r i c k e n regions begin to prosper, they w i l l need c e r t a i n of the the t e c h n o l o g i c a l powers of the now a f f l u e n t s o c i e t i e s , and i t would serve no AU purpose to undermine these powers and a b i l i t i e s by too r a p i d a t r a n s f e r r i n g of wealth. At the l e v e l of the i n d i v i d u a l agent, S i n g e r ' s q u a l i f i c a t i o n s enlarge the number of an agent's o r d i n a r y a c t i o n s which AU can recognize as r i g h t . But i t i s important to a p p r e c i a t e that i t i s s t i l l the case t h a t any a c t i o n which promotes personal u t i l i t y t hat i s not s t r i c t l y necessary to ensure that the agent can continue to c o n t r i b u t e most e f f i c i e n t l y to general u t i l i t y i s c l a s s i f i e d as wrong. C l a s s i f y i n g a l l such a c t i o n s as wrong c r e a t e s s e v e r a l concerns about AU's a c c e p t a b i l i t y . t S i n g e r ( 6 ) : p. T63. t Such a c o n t e n t i o n i s l a r g e l y analogous i n s t r u c t u r e to the argument that AU i s s e l f - d e f e a t i n g , and the same c o n s i d e r a t i o n s provide the b a s i s f o r response. The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 108 For purposes of i l l u s t r a t i o n , i t i s u s e f u l to d i s c u s s the r e l e v a n t t h e o r e t i c a l concerns i n terms of a concret e though f a n c i f u l example. Imagine that some government has a p o l i c y (X), which i s to throw l i f e j a c k e t s i n t o a body of water that i s f u l l of drowning people. For every ten d o l l a r s that an i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r i b u t e s to the government's p o l i c y of (X), one more l i f e j a c k e t i s thrown i n t o the water. T h i s s c e n a r i o i s l i k e a case that Singer mentions i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n of the poverty i s s u e and the o b l i g a t i o n to a s s i s t . S i n g e r ' s example i n v o l v e s a s i t u a t i o n where one i s i n a p o s i t i o n to save the l i f e of a drowning c h i l d through d i r e c t i n t e r v e n t i o n . The path from the l i b r a r y at my u n i v e r s i t y to the Humanities l e c t u r e t h e a t r e passes a shallow ornamental pond. Suppose that on my way to gi v e a l e c t u r e I n o t i c e that a small c h i l d has f a l l e n i n and i s i n danger of drowning. Would anyone deny that I ought to wade in and p u l l the c h i l d out? T h i s w i l l mean g e t t i n g my c l o t h e s muddy, and e i t h e r c a n c e l l i n g my l e c t u r e or d e l a y i n g i t u n t i l I can f i n d something dry to change i n t o ; but compared with the av o i d a b l e death of a c h i l d t h i s i s i n s i g n i f i c a n t , f I t i s l a r g e l y on the b a s i s of t h i s case t h a t Singer argues f o r the c l a i m t h a t , as i n d i v i d u a l s , we have an o b l i g a t i o n to a s s i s t with respect to the e l i m i n a t i o n of world poverty. Singer takes i t as s e l f - e v i d e n t that one ought to expend the e f f o r t necessary to save the drowning c h i l d and hopes to f S i n g e r ( 6 ) : p . 1 6 8 . The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 109 demonstrate that such a case i s i n no way m o r a l l y d i f f e r e n t from the cases i n v o l v i n g famine r e l i e f . As S i n g e r ' s case stands, i t f a i l s to serve as an adequate model for a d d r e s s i n g i s s u e s of world poverty. There are two reasons f o r t h i s f a i l u r e . With few e x c e p t i o n s , i n d i v i d u a l s do not d i r e c t l y i n t e r v e n e to save the l i v e s of others i n famine s t r i c k e n r e g i o n s . I n t e r v e n t i o n i s achieved i n d i r e c t l y on the b a s i s of c o n t r i b u t i o n s to government agencies which are a s s i g n e d the task of c o o r d i n a t i n g r e l i e f e f f o r t s . The i n d i r e c t nature of famine a i d i s captured i n the ten d o l l a r l i f e j a c k e t analogy, but not i n the drowning c h i l d case. I t i s an open q u e s t i o n at t h i s p o i n t whether the d i r e c t n e s s / i n d i r e c t n e s s i s s u e i s m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t with respect to a c t i o n c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . Since the d i r e c t n e s s / i n d i r e c t n e s s f e a t u r e may be m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t , and i t i s a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the a c t u a l s i t u a t i o n concerning world famine, a model which preserves t h i s f e a t u r e i s p r e f e r a b l e . Analogous c o n s i d e r a t i o n s apply with respect to the second way that S i n g e r ' s a n a l y s i s d i f f e r s from the l i f e j a c k e t s c e n a r i o . S i n g e r ' s case does not capture the r e i t e r a t i v e nature of the s i t u a t i o n r e g a r d i n g the r e l i e f of world famine and poverty. Famine i s a constant problem; thus, each i n d i v i d u a l has numerous o p p o r t u n i t i e s to c o n t r i b u t e to the e l i m i n a t i o n of world famine. The ten d o l l a r l i f e j a c k e t model h i g h l i g h t s both the r e i t e r a t i v e The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 1 1 0 aspect and the i n d i r e c t n e s s f e a t u r e of the a c t u a l s i t u a t i o n . Besides being . a more accurate model with r e f e r e n c e to famine, the l i f e j a c k e t analogy i s a b e t t e r v e h i c l e f o r i l l u s t r a t i n g both AU reasoning and some of the problems c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y a s s o c i a t e d with i t . C a p t u r i n g the f e a t u r e of i n d i r e c t n e s s i s of p a r t i c u l a r s i g n i f i c a n c e . I n d i r e c t n e s s a l l o w s f o r the i n t r o d u c t i o n of a v e h i c l e or medium of exchange i n t o the s c e n a r i o . In Si n g e r ' s case, the q u e s t i o n concerns saving l i f e d i r e c t l y . The analogy i n v o l v i n g the ten d o l l a r l i f e j a c k e t s allows f o r saving l i f e i n d i r e c t l y . An obvious way to do t h i s i s through the use of the medium of money. T h i s d r a m a t i c a l l y i n c r e a s e s the number of occasions f o r which q u e s t i o n s concerning c o n t r i b u t i o n s f o r famine r e l i e f can occur. In t h i s way the l i f e j a c k e t model allows q u e s t i o n s p e r t a i n i n g to the r e l a t i v e value of a ten d o l l a r l i f e j a c k e t and, f o r example, a ten d o l l a r movie. Singer's o r i g i n a l case i n v o l v e d the idea t h a t one ought to save the c h i l d , s i n c e the c h i l d ' s l i f e i s of g r e a t e r value than the s t a t e of one's c l o t h e s . Our a l t e r n a t i v e s c e n a r i o would i n d i c a t e t h at one ought to c o n t r i b u t e the ten d o l l a r s to p o l i c y ( X ) , r a t h e r than going to a movie, s i n c e i n these circumstances a ten d o l l a r l i f e j a c k e t i s of g r e a t e r moral value than a ten d o l l a r t r i p to the movies. T h i s l i n e of argument serves to emphasize Singer's The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 1 1 1 c l a i m that h i s views have s e r i o u s i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r i n d i v i d u a l s ' d a i l y l i v e s . Since there i s nothing unique about going to the movies, the same reasoning can be g e n e r a l i z e d to encompass most of the d e c i s i o n s that are re q u i r e d by i n d i v i d u a l s i n the normal course of t h e i r day-to-day l i v e s . Because most of the a c t i v i t i e s f o r which one spends ten d o l l a r s are of l e s s moral s i g n i f i c a n c e than the l i f e that c o u l d be saved with a ten d o l l a r l i f e j a c k e t , t h i s view commits one to the p o s i t i o n that on each such occasion one ought to forgo the a l t e r n a t i v e a c t i v i t y and c o n t r i b u t e ten d o l l a r s to p o l i c y ( X ) - - n o t to do so leaves one i n the s i t u a t i o n i n which one's a c t i o n i s wrong. T h i s i s the essence of the ' r e i t e r a t i v e ' element of the s i t u a t i o n i n v o l v i n g world poverty. AU would r e q u i r e that the argument be r e i t e r a t e d u n t i l we reduce o u r s e l v e s to a s t a t e i n which f u r t h e r g i v i n g would make us worse o f f than anyone we c o u l d give to or, at l e a s t , to a s t a t e i n which f u r t h e r g i v i n g would lower our p o t e n t i a l f o r maximally e f f i c i e n t g i v i n g over the f u t u r e course of our l i v e s . Thus, one should not spend ten d o l l a r s f o r the movies, f o r new socks, f o r e a t i n g out i n r e s t a u r a n t s , or f o r any of the c o u n t l e s s t h i n g s we normally do. And any time that one does, the a c t i o n i s wrong. Desp i t e the apparent s e v e r i t y of such a c o n c l u s i o n , i t i s in f a c t embraced, i n v a r i o u s forms, by many p h i l o s o p h e r s The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 112 who c o n s i d e r themselves to be proponents of u t i l i t a r i a n i s m . Ted Honderich, f o r example, i s e x p l i c i t i n h i s condemnation of the a c t i o n s of i n d i v i d u a l s i n the Western world. ... we who are law-abiding, c o n t r a r y to our common b e l i e f , do not l i v e l i v e s which are anything l i k e r i g h t on the whole. Our conduct i s wrong. The argument f o r t h i s i s that by our o r d i n a r y l i v e s we c o n t r i b u t e to c e r t a i n t e r r i b l e c i r c u m s t a n c e s . We make e s s e n t i a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s to the sho r t e n i n g of the l i f e t i m e s of whole peoples and c l a s s e s , and to many kinds of s u f f e r i n g and d i s t r e s s and degr a d a t i o n , and to d e n i a l s f o r autonomy and of freedoms. In f a c t we ensure by our o r d i n a r y l i v e s that m u l t i t u d e s of i n d i v i d u a l s d i e before time, that f a m i l i e s e x i s t i n s i n g l e wretched rooms, and that t h i s or that people are powerless i n t h e i r homeland, or su b s e r v i e n t i n i t , or are d r i v e n from i t . f While s t a t e d with more f o r c e than those of many other advocates of t h i s p o s i t i o n , H o n d e r i c h 1 s view i s not u n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . Singer e x p l i c i t l y endorses the view that i n d i v i d u a l s have a moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to make s i g n i f i c a n t c o n t r i b u t i o n s toward the e l i m i n a t i o n of famine. People do not f e e l i n any way ashamed or g u i l t y about spending money on new c l o t h e s or a new car i n s t e a d of g i v i n g i t t o famine r e l i e f . ... T h i s way of l o o k i n g at the matter i s not j u s t i f i e d . When we buy new c l o t h e s not to keep o u r s e l v e s warm but to look " w e l l - d r e s s e d " we are not p r o v i d i n g f o r any important need. We would not be s a c r i f i c i n g anything s i g n i f i c a n t i f we were to continue to wear our o l d f H o n d e r i c h ( 1 ) : p. 58-59. The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 113 c l o t h e s , and g i v e the money to famine r e l i e f . By doing so, we would be p r e v e n t i n g another person from s t a r v i n g . I t f o l l o w s from what I s a i d e a r l i e r that we ought to g i v e money away, rather than spend i t on c l o t h e s which we do not need to keep us warm, f T h i s consequence f o l l o w s n a t u r a l l y from the argument that Singer advances. And i t i s important to r e a l i z e that S i n g e r ' s general p o r t r a y a l of AU does e n t a i l that most of an agent's a c t i o n s are wrong. In l i g h t of such a seemingly r a d i c a l c o n c l u s i o n , we need to c o n s i d e r more c a r e f u l l y the reasoning that generates such a c o n c l u s i o n . Singer a s s e r t s the f o l l o w i n g : A p l a u s i b l e p r i n c i p l e t h a t would support the judgement that I ought to p u l l the c h i l d out i s t h i s : i f i t i s i n our power to prevent something very bad happening, without thereby s a c r i f i c i n g anything of comparable moral s i g n i f i c a n c e , we ought to do i t . T h i s p r i n c i p l e seems u n c o n t r o v e r s i a l . $ However, i t i s important to r e c o g n i z e e x a c t l y what i s u n c o n t r o v e r s i a l . I t does seem u n c o n t r o v e r s i a l that one should p u l l the c h i l d out, but i t i s not c l e a r how t h i s r e l a t e s to the s t a t u s of the p r i n c i p l e , c a l l i t (P), that Singer defends. There are a v a r i e t y of ways to construe the r e l a t i o n between the p r i n c i p l e (P) and the s c e n a r i o of the drowning c h i l d . Perhaps the most p l a u s i b l e i s to conceive of the t S i n g e r ( 5 ) : p. 27. i S i n g e r ( 6 ) : p. 168. The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 114 r e l a t i o n i n terms of an i l l u s t r a t i o n of normative reasoning. I t i s t r u e that one ought to save the c h i l d . The f e a t u r e of the case that leads to t h i s c o n c l u s i o n i s that i t does not i n v o l v e the s a c r i f i c e of anything of comparable moral s i g n i f i c a n c e . T h e r e f o r e , i t i s t h i s f e a t u r e that accounts f o r the T i g h t n e s s of t h i s a c t i o n . Stated more f o r m a l l y : 1) The m o r a l l y r i g h t a c t i o n i s to save the l i f e of the c h i l d . 2) The a c t i o n i s m o r a l l y r i g h t because i t does not i n v o l v e the s a c r i f i c e of anything of comparable moral s i g n i f i c a n c e . T h e r e f o r e , as a general t r u t h , a c t i o n s that do not c o s t anything of comparable moral s i g n i f i c a n c e are m o r a l l y r e q u i r e d f o r the good that they e f f e c t . Given t h i s c o n s t r u a l of the r e l a t i o n between (P) and the s c e n a r i o of the drowning c h i l d , there are d i f f i c u l t i e s i n at l e a s t two areas. F i r s t , even g r a n t i n g the t r u t h of both of the premises, the argument i n v o l v e s the i n f o r m a l f a l l a c y of hasty g e n e r a l i z a t i o n , f The dubious nature of t h i s i n f e r e n c e i s h i g h l i g h t e d when Singer acknowledges that the o r i g i n a l case i n v o l v e s a 'rare s i t u a t i o n ' S o , t h i s example of moral reasoning may not r e a l l y allow the f o r m u l a t i o n of any g e n e r a l t r u t h s i n regard to normative e t h i c s . At l e a s t , any such ge n e r a l t r u t h drawn from a case l i k e S i n g e r ' s may t If one reads the 'because' as a l o g i c a l one, then the formal e q u i v a l e n t i n v o l v e s v i o l a t i o n of the r e s t r i c t i o n s on u n i v e r s a l g e n e r a l i z a t i o n . $ There i s a c e r t a i n irony i n the f a c t that Singer seems to defend AU upon the b a s i s of an unusual case when he o b j e c t s to attempts to c r i t i c i z e AU upon the b a s i s of unusual cases. The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 1 1 5 be open to important q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . For one t h i n g , as p r e v i o u s l y noted, Singer f a i l s , through h i s choice of example, t o allow f o r c o n s i d e r i n g s i t u a t i o n s i n which repeated a c t i o n s would be r e q u i r e d on the b a s i s of (P). Issues such as ' f a i r n e s s ' and 'having done one's share', which appear r e l e v a n t i n many c o n t e x t s , seem to be s y s t e m a t i c a l l y excluded by (P ) . For example, i f (P) i s a p p l i e d to the famine i s s u e , the only r e l e v a n t concern i s whether one can produce more u t i l i t y through famine r e l i e f or going t o the movies. Claims about past c o n t r i b u t i o n s , and i t s being only f a i r that others now make s i m i l i a r c o n t r i b u t i o n s , are thereby i r r e l e v a n t . T h i s p r o v i d e s some grounds f o r su s p e c t i n g that (P), as i t stands, i s not adequate. And, of course, a l l t h a t has been s a i d with res p e c t to (P) a p p l i e s e q u a l l y w e l l to AU. Since AU condemns any a c t i o n which f a i l s to maximize u t i l i t y and, as we have seen from the ' r e i t e r a t i v e ' argument, the vast m a j o r i t y of an agent's a c t i o n s do not generate optimal u t i l i t y , i t f o l l o w s that very few of any normal agent's a c t i o n s are even p e r m i s s i b l e . So, we need to expl o r e the r a m i f i c a t i o n s of AU more f u l l y i n terms of how they r e l a t e to an i n d i v i d u a l agent t r y i n g to do what i s r i g h t . The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 116 B . A U A N D U T I L I T Y M A X I M I Z A T I O N Consider two i n d i v i d u a l s , J i l l and Joe, and two p o s s i b l e a c t i o n s , X and Y. J i l l and Joe, independent of one another, are d e c i d i n g whether to do X or Y. By AU the r i g h t a c t i o n i s the a c t i o n that promotes the s t a t e of a f f a i r s with the highest u t i l i t y . X i n v o l v e s spending ten d o l l a r s on a t i c k e t to the movies. Y i s sending ten d o l l a r s to the Emergency Famine R e l i e f Fund. What should each of these i n d i v i d u a l s do? I f Y w i l l promote the higher u t i l i t y , and i f t h i s l i k e l i h o o d i s apparent i n the circumstances, then the r i g h t a c t i o n f o r both i n d i v i d u a l s i s Y. F a i l i n g to do Y w i l l r e s u l t i n J i l l and Joe being r e s p o n s i b l e f o r any d i s u t i l i t y r e s u l t i n g from f o r g o i n g Y. Since the a c t i o n s i n q u e s t i o n are normal human a c t i o n s , and there i s nothing unique about the i n d i v i d u a l s i n v o l v e d , there i s no reason why t h i s c o n c l u s i o n cannot be g e n e r a l i z e d so as to condemn mo r a l l y innumerable o r d i n a r y d e c i s i o n s and a c t i o n s . According to AU, as we have seen from the ' r e i t e r a t i v e ' argument, enormous amounts of money that are now devoted to s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s are m o r a l l y misspent. Singer accepts t h i s r e s u l t as a consequence of the proper a p p l i c a t i o n of AU. Advocates of AU might argue, moreover, that the f e e l i n g that AU i s too extreme i n i t s moral demands i s i t s e l f a r e s u l t of p e r s o n a l and s e l f i s h d e s i r e s and the s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n i n g of an a f f l u e n t s o c i e t y . To f u r t h e r h i g h l i g h t the extent of the c o u n t e r i n t u i t i v e The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 117 t h r u s t of AU imagine the f o l l o w i n g . Both J i l l and Joe have annual s a l a r i e s of approximately t h i r t y thousand d o l l a r s . They are employed by the same company i n the same c a p a c i t y , have the same number of dependents, and they are the same age. However, the r e l e v a n t s i m i l a r i t i e s between J i l l and Joe end here. J i l l g i v e s a s u b s t a n t i a l percentage of her monthly income to v a r i o u s c h a r i t i e s . In a d d i t i o n , she devotes a l a r g e amount of her time to v o l u n t e e r o r g a n i z a t i o n s . She i s a compassionate and c a r i n g i n d i v i d u a l who i s l o y a l to her f r i e n d s and f a m i l y . She s t r i v e s f o r the good of humanity. Joe, on the other hand, i s a c r e a t u r e of a very d i f f e r e n t k i n d . He spends a l a r g e percentage of h i s income going to movies and e a t i n g i n expensive r e s t a u r a n t s . Most of h i s time i s devoted to pursuing these and other p l e a s u r e s . Joe i s s e l f - c e n t r e d , and b e l i e v e s that people should stand on t h e i r own two f e e t . He would resent i t i f someone were to suggest to him that he might do more good in the world by going to fewer movies. So, J i l l and Joe are very d i f f e r e n t , and they a l l o c a t e t h e i r r e s o u r c e s , both f i n a n c i a l and temporal, in very d i f f e r e n t ways. T h i s kind of general i n f o r m a t i o n can seem r e l e v a n t to a s s e s s i n g the m o r a l i t y of the a c t i o n s that are open to J i l l and Joe. But f o r AU, such a d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n cannot be taken i n t o account i n e v a l u a t i n g a c t i o n s per s e . f The moral s t a t u s of the a c t i o n s i s decided t Such a d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n may be taken i n t o account with respect to a c t i v i t i e s such as p r a i s e and blame. But t h i s The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 118 pu r e l y on the b a s i s of t h e i r c a u s a l e f f i c a c y i n producing the h i g h e s t o v e r a l l u t i l i t y . Now suppose that there are only two p o s s i b l e courses of a c t i o n , and thus only two a l t e r n a t i v e s t a t e s of a f f a i r s to be c o n s i d e r e d . In the f i r s t Joe spends h i s money on a movie and does not send i t to the R e l i e f Fund. Joe obt a i n s some u t i l i t y from the movie but because he spends the money on the movie Joe does not e l i m i n a t e any unhappiness concerning hunger or generate any p o s i t i v e u t i l i t y connected with having a f u l l stomach.f The second s t a t e of a f f a i r s i n v o l v e s the s i t u a t i o n i n which Joe sends the ten d o l l a r s to the R e l i e f Fund r a t h e r than spending i t at the movies. R e c a l l Joe's c h a r a c t e r and general d i s p o s i t i o n . In t h i s s c e n a r i o he does g i v e the money to famine r e l i e f but i t i s not a happy c h o i c e , and we may understand h i s doing i t at a l l l a r g e l y i n terms of h i s f e e l i n g c e r t a i n s o c i a l p r e s s u r e s . Since Joe's d i s p o s i t i o n toward people i s based on the ideas of s e l f - r e l i a n c e and d i s d a i n f o r those that request a i d from o t h e r s , t h i s a l t e r n a t i v e i n v o l v e s more than j u s t the d i s u t i l i t y of not seeing the movie. There i s a l s o d i s u t i l i t y found i n the a s s a u l t on Joe's a t t i t u d e s and b e l i e f s about s e l f - r e l i a n c e . Not s u r p r i s i n g l y however, there i s more u t i l i t y i n the s t a t e of a f f a i r s in which Joe spends the t ( c o n t ' d ) does not p e r t a i n to the assessment of the a c t i o n , only the agent. f During the present d i s c u s s i o n ' u t i l i t y ' , 'pleasure' and 'happiness' are t r e a t e d as synonymous. The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 119 money on famine r e l i e f and not at the movies. So, i f Joe does not produce t h i s s t a t e of a f f a i r s , he i s morally r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the d i s u t i l i t y i n v o l v i n g the hunger that r e s u l t s from h i s d e c i s i o n to go to the movie. Analogous c o n s i d e r a t i o n s e x i s t when the AU assessment of the f i r s t s c e n a r i o i n v o l v i n g J i l l i s c o n s i d e r e d . As we know, J i l l i s a compassionate and c a r i n g person who devotes much of her time and money to promoting the good of humanity. She does not have the same r e a c t i o n as Joe when someone suggests that she should not go to see the movie. Her view i s that people must support one another in times of need, and th a t i t i s f o o l i s h to b e l i e v e that people c o u l d be s e l f - r e l i a n t i n a way th a t r e s u l t e d i n t h e i r being i s l a n d s unto themselves. Suppose J i l l spends the money on the movie. She o b t a i n s some u t i l i t y from the movie but d i s u t i l i t y r e l a t e d to hunger p e r s i s t . A l t e r n a t i v e l y , J i l l sends ten d o l l a r s to the R e l i e f Fund. T h i s e l i m i n a t e s some negative u t i l i t y a s s o c i a t e d with hunger and produces some p o s i t i v e u t i l i t y . J i l l f e e l s none of the resentment that Joe f e l t . The only d i s u t i l i t y f o r J i l l i s the missed enjoyment of seeing the movie. An a p p l i c a t i o n of AU r e s u l t s i n the c o n c l u s i o n that J i l l should give the money to famine r e l i e f , s i n c e t h i s maximizes u t i l i t y i n the circumstances. Just as Joe i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the hunger that r e s u l t s from h i s d e c i s i o n to go to the movie, J i l l i s s i m i l a r l y r e s p o n s i b l e . The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 120 However, note that J i l l ' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y is. not lessened by the f a c t that she has p r e v i o u s l y made donations of her time and money to such o r g a n i z a t i o n s as the R e l i e f Fund. Any past, or intended f u t u r e , a c t i v i t i e s are i r r e l e v a n t to the assessment of moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n t h i s i n s t a n c e . While these means of a t t r i b u t i n g moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y may be c o n s i s t e n t l y embraced, more d i f f i c u l t consequences are yet to come. Imagine that there i s onl y a s i n g l e c o n t r i b u t i o n r e q u i r e d , and that any a d d i t i o n a l c o n t r i b u t i o n f a i l s to produce any a d d i t i o n a l p o s i t i v e u t i l i t y . f Suppose we ask which of Joe or J i l l should c o n t r i b u t e . From the prev i o u s d i s c u s s i o n , J i l l should c o n t r i b u t e and not go to the movie, while Joe should go to the movie and not c o n t r i b u t e . T h i s f o l l o w s from the f a c t t h a t Joe experiences more d i s u t i l i t y than J i l l in the s i t u a t i o n where he does not go to the movie. And, as be f o r e , J i l l can make no d i r e c t appeal to the f a c t that she has c o n t r i b u t e d before or to the f a c t that Joe has not.$ For J i l l to f a i l to c o n t r i b u t e r e s u l t s i n her being m o r a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the s p e c i f i c t T h i s i m p l a u s i b l e c l a i m i s made to i l l u s t r a t e important t h e o r e t i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s i n v o l v i n g AU. We have a l s o ignored the broader i s s u e s of whether the money should be taken (perhaps i n the form of taxes) f o r use on a f u t u r e occasion and whether the agents should save the money f o r f u t u r e c o n t r i b u t i o n s themselves. As the h y p o t h e t i c a l case here i s d e s c r i b e d , there are only two o p t i o n s . $ The s c e n a r i o may be underdescribed at t h i s p o i n t . In p a r t i c u l a r , j u s t as Joe's a t t i t u d e s have to be taken i n t o account, i f J i l l f e e l s t h i s i s u n f a i r then such f e e l i n g s have to be i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the c a l c u l a t i o n s . The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 121 r e s u l t s . And her o b l i g a t i o n , i n the circumstances as d e s c r i b e d , i s t h e r e f o r e stronger than h i s . f T h i s r e v e a l s a severe problem. The AU c a l c u l a t i o n cannot address the q u e s t i o n of whether the a t t i t u d e s and d i s p o s i t i o n s that f i g u r e i n the c a l c u l a t i o n s are themselves reasonable or a p p r o p r i a t e . AU l a c k s the resources to d i s t i n g u i s h u t i l i t i e s that i n v o l v e reasonable and a p p r o p r i a t e a t t i t u d e s and those which do not. According to AU J i l l , r a t h e r than Joe, should c o n t r i b u t e to the R e l i e f Fund when only one c o n t r i b u t i o n i s needed. But t h i s c o n c l u s i o n d e r i v e s , i n p a r t , from the f a c t that Joe holds c e r t a i n views about i n d i v i d u a l s needing a i d and about s e l f - r e l i a n c e . In s h o r t , J i l l ' s g r e a t e r o b l i g a t i o n to c o n t r i b u t e , with the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i t e n t a i l s , i s a f u n c t i o n of Joe's ungenerous and unreasonable a t t i t u d e s and b e l i e f s . Such a r e s u l t i s not r e s t r i c t e d to v e r s i o n s of AU that d e f i n e u t i l i t y s a t i s f a c t i o n i n terms of p l e a s u r e or happiness. Dan Brock notes that an analogous r e s u l t o b t a i n s i n attempts to provide a v e r s i o n of AU that understands u t i l i t y i n terms of pre f e r e n c e s a t i s f a c t i o n . A person's d e s i r e s and p r e f e r e n c e s are the product of b i o l o g i c a l needs and the s o c i a l i z a t i o n process by which he or she i s inducted i n t o a s o c i e t y , s t a t e , and f I t may a l s o be noted that i f the r e q u i r e d c o n t r i b u t i o n i s to be o b t a i n e d through d i v i d i n g the g i v i n g then J i l l should give more than Joe. The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 122 v a r i o u s s o c i a l groups. They are importantly determined by and w i l l tend to r e f l e c t and r e i n f o r c e the e x i s t i n g s o c i a l arrangements, power and a u t h o r i t y r e l a t i o n s , and e x p e c t a t i o n s i n one's environment. Consequently, u t i l i t a r i a n i s m formulated so as to r e q u i r e maximal s a t i s f a c t i o n of pre f e r e n c e s as they e x i s t , i n turn serves to r e i n f o r c e the e x i s t i n g s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s ; i t w i l l have a s i g n i f i c a n t c o n s e r v a t i v e b i a s . For example, a r a c i s t or s e x i s t s o c i e t y may f o s t e r r a c i s t and s e x i s t p r e f e r e n c e s i n i t s members, and pre f e r e n c e u t i l i t a r i a n i s m seems committed then to seeking the s a t i s f a c t i o n of those p r e f e r e n c e s , f Ju s t as Joe's a t t i t u d e s and b e l i e f s can i n f l u e n c e u t i l i t y i n a way that can in c r e a s e J i l l ' s o b l i g a t i o n to c o n t r i b u t e to the R e l i e f Fund, the pr e f e r e n c e c a l c u l u s , i n a l l o w i n g weight to r a c i s t and s e x i s t p r e f e r e n c e s , may produce o b l i g a t i o n s to s a t i s f y such a t t i t u d e s and p r e f e r e n c e s . So, f o r m u l a t i o n s of AU that concern the maximization of u t i l i t y or p r e f e r e n c e s a t i s f a c t i o n have the same d i f f i c u l t y when faced with unreasonable a t t i t u d e s , b e l i e f s and p r e f e r e n c e s f B r o c k ( 1 ) : p. 223. $ I t i s p o s s i b l e that some f o r m u l a t i o n s of i d e a l u t i l i t a r i a n i s m a v o i d these d i f f i c u l t i e s . While such accounts r e q u i r e some theory of what c o n s t i t u t e s the end of a good l i f e , they allow f o r d i s c o u n t i n g u t i l i t i e s that are incompatible with f u l f i l l i n g t h i s end. On the other hand, one of the appeals of p r e f e r e n c e u t i l i t a r i a n i s m i s that i t avoids the d i s p u t e s about what people should value and simply takes t h e i r v a l u e s as they a r e . I t a l s o should be noted that t a k i n g people as they are may not have the s i g n i f i c a n t c o n s e r v a t i v e b i a s that Brock suggests. While people g e n e r a l l y are made uncomfortable by change, any disc o m f o r t r e s u l t i n g from no change a l s o has to be taken i n t o account. Brock may have o v e r s t a t e d h i s case. At the very l e a s t , the c l a i m that AU has a tendency toward a " s i g n i f i c a n t c o n s e r v a t i v e b i a s " i n v o l v e s assumptions that The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 123 Defenders of AU may respond by p o i n t i n g out that the eventual consequences of s a t i s f y i n g c e r t a i n ( r a c i s t or s e x i s t ) p r e f e r e n c e s w i l l produce s u f f i c i e n t d i s u t i l i t y to j u s t i f y not s a t i s f y i n g them. Yet, t h i s does not e n t a i l that there i s anything wrong with r a c i s t or s e x i s t p r e f e r e n c e s per se. Such p r e f e r e n c e s are wrong only because they f r u s t r a t e other p r e f e r e n c e s and promote d i s u t i l i t y f o r other members of the community. However, l i n k i n g the m o r a l i t y of racism and sexism d i r e c t l y to p r e f e r e n c e s and u t i l i t y i n t h i s way r a i s e s a s e r i o u s problem f o r AU. When r a c i s t and s e x i s t p o l i c i e s come to produce d i s u t i l i t y , i t i s o f t e n because people f e e l u n f a i r l y and u n j u s t l y t r e a t e d . In t h i s case, AU a c t u a l l y r e l i e s upon the o p e r a t i o n of c e r t a i n v alues i n producing the d i s u t i l i t e s (which are to e x p l a i n the wrongness of racism and sexism) which i t does not o f f i c i a l l y r ecognize as having any independent weight. But f o r r e a l v i c t i m s of racism and sexism these t h i n g s are not he l d to be bad because they f e e l badly about them; they f e e l badly about them because they are f e l t to be g r o s s l y unjust and o f f e n s i v e to i n d i v i d u a l d i g n i t y . AU must subordinate j u s t i c e to u t i l i t y . T h e r e f o r e , i^f someone were an AU agent she would not f e e l u n f a i r l y t r e a t e d by sexism, f o r example, p r o v i d e d that u t i l i t i e s f e l l out so that others were made b e t t e r o f f by her i n f e r i o r i t y of t ( c o n t ' d ) r e q u i r e f u r t h e r d i s c u s s i o n and j u s t i f i c a t i o n . The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 124 s t a t u s . But people are not l i k e t h i s . People f e e l badly because they f e e l u n f a i r l y t r e a t e d ; they do not f e e l u n f a i r l y t r e a t e d because they t h i n k that u t i l i t i e s do not r e a l l y favour the arrangement of s e r v i t u d e . In f a c t , i f others are made happy i n l a r g e numbers by racism or sexism, from the v i c t i m s ' p o i n t of view that only makes t h i n g s m o r a l l y much worse, c e r t a i n l y not i n any way mo r a l l y b e t t e r . C. AU AND BASIC VALUES Questions about the o p e r a t i o n of valu e s other than u t i l i t y i l l u s t r a t e both p o t e n t i a l s t r e n g t h s and weaknesses of AU. The notion of 'maximizing u t i l i t y ' , as normally a s s o c i a t e d with AU, r e q u i r e s that fundamental value a t t a c h to one t h i n g only, say happiness. T h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of AU has been c o n s i d e r e d a s t r e n g t h by some and a flaw by o t h e r s . Although v a r i o u s c r i t i c s b e l i e v e that AU i s too simple, i t possesses an apparent v i r t u e that many competing normative moral t h e o r i e s do not. U t i l i t a r i a n i s m i s both a simple and f u l l y determinate or complete moral theory. Both these f e a t u r e s stem from i t s c h a r a c t e r as a theory r e q u i r i n g maximization of a s i n g l e v a r i a b l e . ... [T]he theory i s simple i n the sense that we only c a l c u l a t e the e f f e c t s of an a c t i o n f o r a s i n g l e v a r i a b l e , say happiness, and then maximize f o r that v a r i a b l e . I t i s f u l l y determinate i n that i t i s i n p r i n c i p l e p o s s i b l e to determine f o r any a c t i o n whether i t can be expected t o produce at l e a s t as much happiness as any a l t e r n a t i v e a c t i o n open The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 125 to i t s agent. ... A common f e a t u r e of n e a r l y a l l n o n - u t i l i t a r i a n t h e o r i e s i s that they make a p l u r a l i t y of d i f f e r e n t p r o p e r t i e s of a c t i o n s r e l e v a n t to t h e i r moral assessment. ... We are then faced with a case of moral c o n f l i c t and what might be c a l l e d "the p r i o r i t y problem"; which moral c o n s i d e r a t i o n or duty i s more important, and what, a l l t h i n g s c o n s i d e r e d , ought we to do? ... U t i l i t a r i a n i s m , i n v i r t u e of being a s i n g l e v a r i a b l e , maximizing theory, does not face the p r i o r i t y problem, f Acc e p t i n g that AU does not face the p r i o r i t y problem, the qu e s t i o n i s whether t h i s r e a l l y i s a v i r t u e of the theory. Perhaps AU has o v e r s i m p l i f i e d the moral realm. For example, one cost of s o l v i n g the p r i o r i t y problem by c a l c u l a t i n g over a s i n g l e v a r i a b l e i s that i n making moral judgements c o n s i d e r a t i o n s such as ' f a i r n e s s ' have no d i r e c t r o l e . Issues l i k e t h a t of famine r e l i e f can c r e a t e c o n s i d e r a b l e s k e p t i c i s m about the p l a u s i b i l i t y of denying ' f a i r n e s s ' a r o l e i n moral c a l c u l a t i o n s . By maximizing over a s i n g l e v a r i a b l e AU pre c l u d e s appeals to any other b a s i c v a l u e s . Singer c o n s i d e r s v a r i o u s o b j e c t i o n s to h i s argument about famine r e l i e f . One of the most important o b j e c t i o n s i n v o l v e s the c l a i m that the moral standards r e q u i r e d i n l i g h t of Sin g e r ' s c o n c l u s i o n s are so hi g h that i t i s unreasonable to expect people to meet them. Sing e r ' s response i s as f o l l o w s . The f i n a l o b j e c t i o n to the argument f o r an o b l i g a t i o n to a s s i s t i s that i t s e t s f BrockC1): p. 232-233. The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 126 a standard so high that none but a s a i n t c o u l d a t t a i n i t . ... Might i t not be c o u n t e r - p r o d u c t i v e to demand so much? Might not people say: 'As I can't do what i s morally r e q u i r e d anyway, I won't bother to give at a l l . ' I f , however, we were to set a more r e a l i s t i c standard, people might make a genuine e f f o r t to reach i t . ... I t i s important to get the s t a t u s of t h i s o b j e c t i o n c l e a r . I t s accuracy as a p r e d i c t i o n of human behavior i s q u i t e compatible with the argument that we are o b l i g e d to g i v e to the p o i n t at which by g i v i n g more we s a c r i f i c e something of comparable moral s i g n i f i c a n c e . What would f o l l o w from the o b j e c t i o n i s that p u b l i c advocacy of t h i s standard of g i v i n g i s u n d e s i r a b l e . I t would mean that i n order to do the maximum to reduce a b s o l u t e poverty, we should advocate a standard lower than the amount we t h i n k that people r e a l l y ought to g i v e . f Such a response i s i n the s t r i c t e s t s p i r i t of AU and i s c o r r e l a t i v e with the d i s t i n c t i o n between the ' r i g h t n e s s of an a c t i o n ' and the 'Tightness of p r a i s i n g the a c t i o n ' , only now i t i s a d i s t i n c t i o n between the 'Tightness of a p r i n c i p l e ' and the 'Tightness of p u b l i c l y advocating a p r i n c i p l e ' . Singer goes on to p o i n t out one consequence that seems to f o l l o w n a t u r a l l y from h i s argument. Of course we o u r s e l v e s — t h o s e of us who accept the o r i g i n a l argument, with i t s higher s t a n d a r d — w o u l d know that we ought to do more than we p u b l i c l y propose people ought to do, and we might a c t u a l l y give more than we urge others to g i v e . There i s no i n c o n s i s t e n c y here, s i n c e i n both our p r i v a t e and our p u b l i c f S i n g e r ( 6 ) : p. 180. The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 127 behavior we are t r y i n g to do what w i l l most reduce a b s o l u t e poverty, t I t should be noted, however, that Singer's c o n c l u s i o n i s too modest given an AU framework. He contends that those who understand the argument "might a c t u a l l y give more" than the amount urged of o t h e r s . For a c o n s i s t e n t a p p l i c a t i o n of AU the c o n c l u s i o n must be that those who understand the argument "should a c t u a l l y give more" than the amount requested of the p u b l i c at l a r g e . $ The f a c t t h a t others cannot be brought to act r i g h t l y does not j u s t i f y i n d i v i d u a l s who understand what i s i n v o l v e d i n a c t i n g r i g h t l y i n f a i l i n g to act in t h i s manner. One q u e s t i o n that Singer does not address i n h i s response to the o b j e c t i o n that AU se t s too high a moral standard p e r t a i n s t o the no t i o n s of ' f a i r n e s s ' and 'doing one's share'. Singer's p o s i t i o n appears inadequate because i t f a i l s to allow i n d i v i d u a l s 'any recourse to c o n s i d e r a t i o n s of f a i r n e s s . F a i r n e s s would d i c t a t e that there i s some p o i n t at which p e r s o n a l s a c r i f i c e s are no longer r e q u i r e d unless others a l s o are doing t h e i r share. No one has to shoulder the burden of such a task because i t i s u n f a i r . S i n g e r ' s AU framework does not allow f o r a cogent a r t i c u l a t i o n of t h i s o b j e c t i o n s i n c e such an o b j e c t i o n assumes that there are t S i n g e r ( 6 ) : p. 180. $ Singer may simply be a l l o w i n g f o r human moral f r a i l t y with the "might a c t u a l l y give more" c l a i m . But i t s t i l l needs to be noted that a c o n s i s t e n t AU assessment does r e q u i r e that one "should a c t u a l l y give more". The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 128 other sources of b a s i c values besides simply u t i l i t y . One AU response to the ' f a i r n e s s ' c l a i m i n v o l v e s the c o n t e n t i o n that others s h i r k i n g i n t h e i r duty does n o t ' j u s t i f y one i n s i m i l a r n e g l e c t . A f t e r a l l , suppose that others walk by the c h i l d ; t h i s cannot j u s t i f y one i n walking by as w e l l . T h i s response makes sense i n the c h i l d case but i s open to qu e s t i o n i n the famine case. T h i s can be brought out by imagining an i n d i v i d u a l i n C a l c u t t a . AU demands that the i n d i v i d u a l devote a l l energy not r e q u i r e d t o s u s t a i n h e r s e l f to saving s t a r v i n g persons. I t i s one t h i n g to morally r e q u i r e that one save a drowning person on those rare o c c a s i o n s when i t i s p o s s i b l e ; but i t i s q u i t e another to r e q u i r e m o r a l l y that one save every s t a r v i n g person that one p o s s i b l y can, even when s t a r v i n g people are an everpresent r e a l i t y . T h i s h i g h l i g h t s the p o s s i b l e importance of the r e i t e r a t i v e element i n normative c o n s i d e r a t i o n s and that b a s i c values may e x i s t i n more that one source. AU r e j e c t s the moral relevance of the r e i t e r a t i v e element and assumes t h a t , i n a l l cases, value i s r e d u c i b l e to a s i n g l e source. Thus, f o r AU, the only r e l i e f from the o b l i g a t i o n to c o n t r i b u t e to famine r e l i e f l i e s i n i t becoming co u n t e r p r o d u c t i v e i n terms of u t i l i t y maximization. The only p o s s i b l e appeals to no t i o n s l i k e f a i r n e s s must somehow l i n k and subordinate f a i r n e s s to u t i l i t y . S k e p t i c i s m about the s u b o r d i n a t i o n of f a i r n e s s to The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 129 u t i l i t y connects with a more g e n e r a l c r i t i c i s m of AU. It i s simply that AU i s too impoverished i n terms of b a s i c v a l u e s . Thomas Nagel, f o r one, has expressed a very deep s k e p t i c i s m about any r e d u c t i o n of value to a s i n g l e source. I do not b e l i e v e that the source of value i s u n i t a r y - d i s p l a y i n g apparent m u l t i p l i c i t y only i n i t s a p p l i c a t i o n to the world. I b e l i e v e that value has fundamentally d i f f e r e n t kinds of sources, and that they are r e f l e c t e d i n the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of v a l u e s i n t o t ypes. Not a l l values represent the p u r s u i t of some s i n g l e good in a v a r i e t y of s e t t i n g s , f If b a s i c v a l u e s can d e r i v e from a v a r i e t y of d i f f e r e n t sources, then moral d e c i s i o n s can be problematic f o r reasons other than l a c k of moral w i l l or of e m p i r i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n . There can be cases where, even i f one i s f a i r l y sure about the outcomes of a l t e r n a t i v e courses of a c t i o n , or about t h e i r p r o b a b i l i t y d i s t r i b u t i o n s , and even though one knows how to d i s t i n g u i s h the pros and cons, one i s n e v e r t h e l e s s unable to b r i n g them together i n a s i n g l e e v a l u a t i v e judgement, even to the extent of f i n d i n g them evenly balanced. An even balance r e q u i r e s comparable q u a n t i t i e s . $ The d i s c u s s i o n of famine h i g h l i g h t s the importance of Nagel's p o i n t . P r e c i s e l y because i t i s so u n c e r t a i n how much one i s a c t u a l l y o b l i g e d to c o n t r i b u t e to famine r e l i e f , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n l i g h t of c o n s i d e r a t i o n s of f a i r n e s s , i t seems c l e a r that the answer cannot be determined s o l e l y on t N a g e l ( 2 ) : pp. 131-132. $ Nag e l ( 2 ) : p. 128. The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 130 the b a s i s of u t i l i t y c a l c u l a t i o n s over a s i n g l e v a r i a b l e . Nagel i s o l a t e s f i v e b a s i c values which he t h i n k s can r e s u l t i n c o n f l i c t s t h a t are not r e s o l v a b l e by o b t a i n i n g a d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n . F i r s t , there are s p e c i f i c o b l i g a t i o n s to other people or i n s t i t u t i o n s : o b l i g a t i o n s to p a t i e n t s , to one's f a m i l y , to the h o s p i t a l or u n i v e r s i t y at which one works, to one's community or one's country. ... The next category i s that of c o n s t r a i n t s on a c t i o n d e r i v i n g from ge n e r a l r i g h t s that everyone has e i t h e r to do c e r t a i n t h i n g s or not to be t r e a t e d i n c e r t a i n ways. ... The t h i r d category i s that which i s t e c h n i c a l l y c a l l e d u t i l i t y . T h i s i s the c o n s i d e r a t i o n that takes i n t o account the e f f e c t s of what one. does on everyone's welfare-whether or not the components of that w e l f a r e are connected with s p e c i a l o b l i g a t i o n s or general r i g h t s . ... The f o u r t h category i s that of p e r f e c t i o n i s t ends or v a l u e s . By t h i s I mean the i n t r i n s i c value of c e r t a i n achievements or c r e a t i o n s , apart from t h e i r value to i n d i v i d u a l s who experience or use them. ... The f i n a l category i s that of commitment to one's own p r o j e c t s or undertakings, which i s a value i n a d d i t i o n to whatever reasons may have l e d to them in the f i r s t p l a c e . t AU attempts to r e s o l v e a l l such c o n f l i c t s by s u b o r d i n a t i n g -a l l v a l u e s to u t i l i t y . T h i s i s deeply q u e s t i o n a b l e . One may d i s a g r e e with the members of Nagel's l i s t but he seems c o r r e c t to h o l d that any l i s t of b a s i c values that i s at a l l adequate to our a c t u a l processes of moral reasoning w i l l have to have more than one member. For example, r e g a r d i n g t N a g e l ( 2 ) : pp. 129-131. The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 131 famine r e l i e f , the AU c l a i m that one's o b l i g a t i o n s to f a m i l y are u t t e r l y subordinate to g e n e r a l u t i l i t y c o n s i d e r a t i o n s s t r e t c h e s c r e d i b i l i t y to the breaking p o i n t . Yet to allow that b a s i c v a l u e s e x i s t i n more than one form e n t a i l s the r e j e c t i o n of AU. AU avoids the p r i o r i t y problem. However, i t i s at l e a s t arguable that i t does t h i s by s i m p l i f y i n g the moral realm to the p o i n t of i m p l a u s i b i l i t y . Rather than seeing AU's s i m p l i c i t y as a s t r e n g t h , i t should perhaps be seen as a s e r i o u s weakness of the theory. At the l e a s t , i t i s not unreasonable to view the prospect of having to c o n t i n u o u s l y reapply the AU demand reg a r d i n g famine r e l i e f , u n t i l one, together with one's f a m i l y , reaches a l e v e l of marginal u t i l i t y which i s r e l a t i v e l y c l o s e to that of the world's most poor, as g r e a t l y damaging the p l a u s i b i l i t y of AU. D. AU AND OMISSIONS As we have seen, many of the concerns about AU are v a r i a t i o n s on one form of o b j e c t i o n . T h i s o b j e c t i o n r e s t s upon the f a c t that AU, i n u n q u a l i f i e d form, imposes no l i m i t on o b l i g a t i o n as long as more good f o r o t h e r s o f f s e t s the c o s t to o n e s e l f . The c r i t i c a l c l a i m i s that AU renders c e r t a i n a c t i o n s o b l i g a t o r y which the common moral outlook, or the r e f l e c t i v e moral co n s c i e n c e , regards as 'beyond the bounds of duty' in one way or another. The most common form The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 132 of the idea that something i s 'beyond the bounds of duty' i s that c e r t a i n a c t i o n s are not made o b l i g a t o r y simply by favourable u t i l i t y c a l c u l a t i o n s because such d e t e r m i n a t i o n s would place impossible moral demands upon people, with the r e s u l t that enormous, and unreasonable, personal s a c r i f i c e would become morally r e q u i r e d . T h i s way of t h i n k i n g f o s t e r s the o b j e c t i o n that AU cannot accommodate the d i s t i n c t i o n between a c t i o n s that are supererogatory and those which are m o r a l l y r e q u i r e d . In c o n t r a s t , 'beyond the bounds of duty' can be understood i n a very d i f f e r e n t manner. I t can be i n t e r p r e t e d so as to c r i t i c i z e AU f o r b r i n g i n g u t t e r l y nonmoral s i t u a t i o n s , and accompanying a c t i o n s , i n t o the realm of moral assessment. Suppose a g i r l comes i n t o the k i t c h e n e a r l y one morning. She sees three boxes—Wheat T o a s t i e s , Rice T o a s t i e s , and Oat T o a s t i e s . She's never p a i d much a t t e n t i o n to b r e a k f a s t c e r e a l s , and she r e a l l y doesn't care very much which c e r e a l she e a t s , although she w i l l get s l i g h t l y more pl e a s u r e from e a t i n g the Oat T o a s t i e s than she w i l l from e a t i n g e i t h e r of the other c e r e a l s . Neither she nor anyone e l s e w i l l s u f f e r any p a i n from any of the three p o s s i b l e c e r e a l c h o i c e s , although she w i l l have a hunger pang i f she e a t s nothing at a l l . ... [AU] e n t a i l s that the g i r l i s m o r a l l y o b l i g a t e d to eat Oat T o a s t i e s f o r b r e a k f a s t , and that she i s morally forbidden to eat e i t h e r of the other two c e r e a l s or nothing at a l l . f t Feldman(2): pp. 50-51. The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 133 T h i s o b j e c t i o n to AU has been c a l l e d the ' t r i v i a l a c t i o n ' o b j e c t i o n and, given the example c i t e d , i t i s easy to understand why. On t h i s reading of the e x p r e s s i o n 'beyond the bounds of duty', one examines s i t u a t i o n s where i t seems that a c t i o n s of no moral importance occur, and d i s c o v e r s that the AU p r i n c i p l e b r i n g s such a c t i o n s i n t o the realm of moral o b l i g a t i o n . The combined essence of these o b j e c t i o n s to AU i s that o b l i g a t i o n i s c a r r i e d i n t o realms that are above or beneath i t s proper sphere of o p e r a t i o n . I r o n i c a l l y , these two o b j e c t i o n s seem to combine when one examines the AU p r i n c i p l e and i t s demands with respect to famine. T h i s f o l l o w s from the f a c t t h at ' p o s s i b l e a l t e r n a t i v e a c t i o n s ' play an ominous r o l e w i t h i n the context of the famine q u e s t i o n . Normally the i s s u e of whether one's lunch i s a peanut b u t t e r sandwich ( c o s t i n g $1.00) or a clubhouse sandwich ( c o s t i n g $2.00) seems a matter beneath the concerns of moral o b l i g a t i o n . However, s i n c e one c o u l d more e f f e c t i v e l y produce u t i l i t y by having a peanut b u t t e r sandwich f o r lunch, and sending the e x t r a d o l l a r to Oxfam f o r famine r e l i e f , AU c a r r i e s the seemingly t r i v i a l matter of what kind of sandwich one has f o r lunch i n t o the realm of moral o b l i g a t i o n . f And i n doing so, AU i m p l i e s that we have t The matter i s more complex than t h i s suggests. Issues such as the agent's p r e f e r e n c e s , the s u f f e r i n g of the turkeys r a i s e d f o r the clubhouse sandwich and Oxfam's e f f e c t i v e n e s s would a l l need a t t e n t i o n in any attempt to make such a c a l c u l a t i o n . The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 134 o b l i g a t i o n s which seem unreasonable, l i k e choosing the cheapest lunch so as to in c r e a s e our g i f t s to Oxfam. A c t u a l a c t i o n s are performed, while p o s s i b l e a c t i o n s are those that c o u l d have been done but were not done. The range of p o s s i b l e a c t i o n s i s innumerable. Since p o s s i b l e a c t i o n s are a c t i o n s that one c o u l d have done, but d i d not do, i t makes sense to t h i n k of p o s s i b l e a c t i o n s i n terms of omissions. For example, i f the g i r l ate the Rice T o a s t i e s , she omitted to eat the Oat T o a s t i e s . T h i s n o t i o n of an omission p l a y s an important r o l e i n AU. An omission i s a p o s s i b l e a c t i o n that c o u l d have been performed i f an a c t u a l a c t i o n , or a c t i o n s , had not been performed. Examples serve to c l a r i f y how these n o t i o n s f u n c t i o n . If one buys a c a r , then one performs a c e r t a i n a c t i o n . The performance of t h i s a c t i o n accompanies an innumerably l a r g e number of omissions. Given that one has spent the money on a car, one cannot make use of that money as pa r t of a down payment on a house. A l s o , one cannot use that money to send to famine r e l i e f . The use of the money as pa r t of a down payment on a house, or f o r famine r e l i e f , are p o s s i b l e a c t i o n s that c o u l d have been performed i f the a c t i o n of spending the money on the car had not been performed. By t a k i n g a walk, one omits to s i t down to read a book. One a l s o omits to s l e e p , to eat, and to commit s u i c i d e , each of which would have been p o s s i b l e i f the a c t i o n of t a k i n g a walk had not been The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 135 performed. The present sketch of omissions makes r e f e r e n c e to ' a c t i o n , or a c t i o n s ' . T h i s i s an important q u a l i f i c a t i o n . The spending of one d o l l a r on c o f f e e cannot have a corresponding omission of f a i l i n g to send ten d o l l a r s to the famine r e l i e f fund. However, through the r e p e t i t i o n of the a c t i o n ten times, there r e s u l t s a s e r i e s of a c t i o n s that have a corresponding omission of sending ten d o l l a r s to famine r e l i e f . An omission can e x i s t as a r e s u l t of a s e r i e s of a c t i o n s . Given t h i s b r i e f sketch of what c o n s t i t u t e s an omission, the q u e s t i o n a r i s e s as to which omissions are morally r e l e v a n t . I t i s c l e a r that not every omission has moral importance. I f one eats c h o c o l a t e i c e cream, then one omits to eat strawberry i c e cream. Except under extremely abnormal circumstances, i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o see how such an omission c o u l d be m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t . However, i t i s e q u a l l y c l e a r t h at some omissions do have moral weight. The spending of a l l one's money gambling' may r e s u l t i n one's f a m i l y not having enough to eat. Thus, one omits to feed one's f a m i l y because of gambling. T h i s i s , under normal circumstances, morally r e l e v a n t . So how are we to determine which omissions have moral relevance and which do not? There have been a number of attempts to i n c o r p o r a t e concerns about omissions i n t o moral theory, connected p a r t i c u l a r l y with the t o p i c of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . The AU The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 136 p r i n c i p l e p r o v i d e s a c l e a r approach to t h i s i s s u e . I t does not recognize any m o r a l l y r e l e v a n t d i f f e r e n c e between a c t s and omissions, and thus one i s m o r a l l y o b l i g e d to determine, and perform, the a l t e r n a t i v e t h a t serves to maximize u t i l i t y . Given the p r e v i o u s d i s c u s s i o n , one can see that such a p o s i t i o n has s e r i o u s consequences i n terms of the moral o b l i g a t i o n s that e x i s t f o r i n d i v i d u a l s . Since Singer accepts the AU p r i n c i p l e , and the major a l t e r a t i o n s that i t r e q u i r e s i n our d a i l y l i v e s , i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g that he remains unmoved by the o b j e c t i o n s to AU that have been c o n s i d e r e d here. Singer acknowledges the frequency with which AU i s c r i t i c i z e d because i t f a i l s to maintain a d i s t i n c t i o n between a c t i o n s which are supererogatory and those which are m o r a l l y o b l i g a t o r y . However, he contends that such c r i t i c i s m i s not well-founded. He b e l i e v e s that the AU p r i n c i p l e shows that there i s something wrong with the way the d i s t i n c t i o n i s normally drawn. If my argument so f a r has been sound, n e i t h e r our d i s t a n c e from a p r e v e n t a b l e e v i l nor the number of others who, i n r e s p e c t to that e v i l , are i n the same s i t u a t i o n as we a r e , l e s s e n s our o b l i g a t i o n to m i t i g a t e or prevent that e v i l . ... The outcome of t h i s argument i s that our t r a d i t i o n a l moral c a t e g o r i e s are upset. The t r a d i t i o n a l d i s t i n c t i o n between duty and c h a r i t y cannot be drawn, or at l e a s t , not i n the p l a c e we normally draw i t . G i v i n g money to the Bengal R e l i e f Fund i s regarded as an act of c h a r i t y i n our s o c i e t y . ... To do so The AU Moral Agent: U t i l i t y Machine / 137 i s not c h a r i t a b l e , or generous. Nor i s i t the kind of act which p h i l o s o p h e r s and t h e o l o g i a n s have c a l l e d "supererogatory"-an a c t which i t would be good to do, but not wrong not to do. On the c o n t r a r y , we ought to g i v e the money away, and i t i s wrong not to do so. t In s h o r t , c o n s i d e r a t i o n s r a i s e d as o b j e c t i o n s to the AU p r i n c i p l e are embraced as consequences of the proper a p p l i c a t i o n of the p r i n c i p l e . Part of the e x p l a n a t i o n of such d i f f e r e n t analyses l i e s i n r e c o g n i z i n g the a l t e r n a t i v e moral methodologies i n v o l v e d . The method of moral geometry, which Singer endorses, r e q u i r e s that i n t u i t i o n s of s e l f - e v i d e n c e f o r g e n e r a l moral p r i n c i p l e s take precedence over any p a r t i c u l a r moral judgements. One r e s u l t i s that any c o n f l i c t s between AU and p a r t i c u l a r moral judgements are r e s o l v e d s y s t e m a t i c a l l y i n favour of AU. Concerns with t h i s methodology were p r e v i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d . The c o n c l u s i o n was that a methodology which allowed both ge n e r a l and p a r t i c u l a r i n t u i t i o n s a r o l e i n the d i a l e c t i c of theory assessment was more t e n a b l e . So, even i f i t i s l e f t open .what f o r c e the c o n s i d e r a t i o n s r a i s e d above have as c r i t i c i s m s of AU, they cannot be d i s m i s s e d s o l e l y on the grounds that they c o n f l i c t with a sound a p p l i c a t i o n of AU. I t i s thereby important to r e t u r n to q u e s t i o n s about AU moral agency, with hopes of r e a c h i n g some deeper d i a g n o s i s . f S i n g e r ( 5 ) : p. 27. V . AU AND MORAL R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y As we have seen, AU i s committed to an extremely strong account of moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . I n d i v i d u a l s who f a i l to produce the s t a t e of a f f a i r s with maximum u t i l i t y are mor a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r any d i s u t i l i t y that e x i s t s as a consequence of such a f a i l u r e . So AU, through i t s assignment of value to s t a t e s of a f f a i r s , reduces the moral s t a t u s of any p a r t i c u l a r agent to that of a u t i l i t y conductor and a c a u s a l mechanism i n the p r o d u c t i o n of u t i l i t y maximizing s t a t e s of a f f a i r s . T h i s l eaves AU open to a p a r t i c u l a r l y d e v a s t a t i n g type of o b j e c t i o n . Noting the f a c t that AU r e q u i r e s that everyone's i n t e r e s t s be given equal weight, Brock says the f o l l o w i n g . Each person's own l i f e i s uniquely important to him, i n a way that the l i v e s of ot h e r s , even others to whom he i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d and about whom he car e s a great d e a l , are not. Our own f r e e l y chosen ends and purposes i n turn have a s p e c i a l importance to us that the ends and purposes of ot h e r s do not have. On the u t i l i t a r i a n view, anyone's end or purpose has i n p r i n c i p l e j u s t as much c l a i m on me and my a c t i o n as does my own, and t h i s i s why our own ends and purposes on the u t i l i t a r i a n view are too e a s i l y overwhelmed by the needs and purposes of oth e r s , most e s p e c i a l l y i n " a i d to o t h e r s " s o r t s of cases, f T h i s i s one of the r e s u l t s t h at one must accept i f one endorses the way i n which an AU conceives of moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and mo r a l l y r i g h t a c t i o n . In circumstances f B r o c k ( 2 ) : p. 232. 1 38 AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 139 where i t i s p o s s i b l e to maximize u t i l i t y by s u b o r d i n a t i n g one's own purposes to those of o t h e r s , one i s morally r e s p o n s i b l e f o r any d i s u t i l i t y that r e s u l t s as a consequence of not doing so. A . A U , NEGATIVE RESPONSIBILITY AND INTEGRITY One important r e s u l t of AU's e x c l u s i v e concern with consequences i n v o l v e s , i n W i l l i a m s ' terms, the "strong d o c t r i n e of negative r e s p o n s i b i l i t y " . I t i s because c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s m a t t a c h e s value u l t i m a t e l y to s t a t e s of a f f a i r s , and i t s concern i s with what s t a t e s of a f f a i r s the world c o n t a i n s , that i t e s s e n t i a l l y i n v o l v e s the n o t i o n of negative r e s p o n s i b i l i t y : that i f I am ever r e s p o n s i b l e f o r anything, then I must be j u s t as much r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h i n g s that I allow or f a i l to prevent, as I am f o r t h i n g s that I myself, i n the more everyday r e s t r i c t e d sense, b r i n g about, f In s h o r t , i t does not matter who b r i n g s about any p a r t i c u l a r s t a t e of a f f a i r s i n the world because: ... f o r c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s m , a l l c a u s a l connexions are on the same l e v e l , and i t makes no d i f f e r e n c e , so f a r as that goes, whether the c a u s a t i o n of a given s t a t e of a f f a i r s l i e s through another agent, or not.$ An agent i s as morally r e s p o n s i b l e f o r what she prevents, or f a i l s to prevent, others from doing as she i s f o r what she does h e r s e l f . So, an agent i s not only r e s p o n s i b l e f o r any f W i l l i a m s ( 2 ) : p. 95. $ W i l l i a m s ( 2 ) : p. 94. AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 140 d i s u t i l i t y that she c o u l d have prevented with her a c t i o n s , she a l s o i s m o r a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e when her f a i l i n g to a c t a l l o w s someone e l s e to do something worse. To i l l u s t r a t e the c o u n t e r i n t u i t i v e r e s u l t s of t h i s c o n s t r u a l of moral agency and moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y Williams c o n s i d e r s two d i f f e r e n t cases. The f i r s t i n v o l v e s a chemist named George. George, who has j u s t taken h i s Ph.D. i n chemistry, f i n d s i t extremely d i f f i c u l t t o get a job. ... An o l d e r chemist, who knows about t h i s s i t u a t i o n , says that he can get George a d e c e n t l y p a i d job i n a c e r t a i n l a b o r a t o r y , which pursues r e s e a r c h i n t o chemical and b i o l o g i c a l warfare. George says that he cannot accept t h i s , s i n c e he i s opposed to chemical and b i o l o g i c a l warfare. The o l d e r man r e p l i e s that he i s not too keen on i t h i m s e l f , come to t h a t , but a f t e r a l l George's r e f u s a l i s not going to make the job or l a b o r a t o r y go away; what i s more, he happens to know that i f George r e f u s e s the job, i t w i l l c e r t a i n l y go to a contemporary of George's who i s not i n h i b i t e d by any such s c r u p l e s and i s l i k e l y i f appointed to push along the r e s e a r c h with g r e a t e r z e a l than George would, t Assuming, as W i l l i a m s seems t o , that the r e s e a r c h would u l t i m a t e l y cause more harm i f pursued with more z e a l and that George's f a m i l y would s u f f e r more from h i s f a i l u r e to accept the job, i t seems that George should take the job. Or so AU s t r o n g l y i n d i c a t e s . But t h i s seems the wrong c h o i c e . And i n any case, George's commitment to the r e j e c t i o n of t W i l l i a m s ( 2 ) : pp. 97-98. AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 141 such means of warfare has l o s t any p l a c e i n determining how he should a c t . The impoverished nature of AU's conception of m o r a l i t y i s e q u a l l y apparent in the second s c e n a r i o . Consider a b o t a n i s t named Jim. Jim f i n d s himself i n the c e n t r a l square of a small South American town. T i e d up a g a i n s t the w a l l are a row of twenty Indians, most t e r r i f i e d , a few d e f i a n t , i n f r o n t of them s e v e r a l armed men i n uniform. A heavy man ... e x p l a i n s that the Indians are a random group of the i n h a b i t a n t s who, a f t e r recent a c t s of p r o t e s t a g a i n s t the government, are j u s t about to be k i l l e d to remind other p o s s i b l e p r o t e s t o r s of the advantages of not p r o t e s t i n g . However, s i n c e Jim i s an honoured v i s i t o r from another land, the c a p t a i n i s happy to o f f e r him a guest's p r i v i l e g e of k i l l i n g one of the Indians h i m s e l f . I f Jim a c c e p t s , then as a s p e c i a l mark of the o c c a s i o n , the other Indians w i l l be l e t o f f . Of course, i f Jim r e f u s e s , then there i s no s p e c i a l o c c a s i o n , and Pedro here w i l l do what he was about to do when Jim a r r i v e d , and k i l l them a l l . ... The men a g a i n s t the w a l l , and the other v i l l a g e r s , understand the s i t u a t i o n , and are o b v i o u s l y begging him to accept, t By AU, i t seems c l e a r that Jim should k i l l one of the Indians. Even i f t h i s i s the r i g h t a c t i o n , i t makes the-answer appear too obvious and too simple. For example, suppose Jim i s a p a c i f i s t and s t r o n g l y b e l i e v e s he should never take another's l i f e . Such a c r u c i a l b e l i e f has no p l a c e i n AU c a l c u l a t i o n s . Indeed, to expand on W i l l i a m s ' t W i l l i a m s ( 2 ) : pp. 98-99. AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 142 example, suppose Jim knew that he would not be able to l i v e with himself i f he k i l l e d the In d i a n . He s t i l l ought to do i t . Even i f Jim e v e n t u a l l y commits s u i c i d e because of the g u i l t , t h i s only r e s u l t s i n two deaths, and not twenty, and so i t i s s t i l l the p r e f e r r e d consequence. Both examples h i g h l i g h t the po i n t that AU too e a s i l y overwhelms the needs and ends of the moral agent. The d o c t r i n e of negative r e s p o n s i b i l i t y has i m p l i c a t i o n s i n a v a r i e t y of d i r e c t i o n s that p e r t a i n to moral assessment and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . f W i l l i a m s has emphasized the important and i n t e r e s t i n g q u e s t i o n of the e f f e c t s of negative r e s p o n s i b i l t y on the concept of i n t e g r i t y i n moral t h i n k i n g . A f e a t u r e of u t i l i t a r i a n i s m i s that i t c u t s out a ki n d of c o n s i d e r a t i o n which f o r some makes a d i f f e r e n c e to what they f e e l about such cases: a c o n s i d e r a t i o n i n v o l v i n g the idea, as we might f i r s t and very simply put i t , t h a t each of us i s s p e c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r what he does, r a t h e r than f o r what other people do. T h i s i s an idea c l o s e l y connected with the va l u e of i n t e g r i t y . $ W i l l i a m s construes an agent's i n t e g r i t y i n terms of her conduct i n r e l a t i o n to valu e s and p r o j e c t s which form the c e n t r a l commitments of the agent's l i f e . I t i s the r e s u l t i n g s t a t u s of such p r o j e c t s that forms the b a s i s of W i l l i a m s ' t W i l l i a m s ' a n a l y s i s has been the subject of a great deal of c r i t i c a l examination. For examples, see H a r r i s ( l ) and D a v i s O ) . £ W i l l i a m s ( 2 ) : p. 99. AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 143 charge that AU i n v o l v e s an a t t a c k on the agent'.s i n t e g r i t y . For, to take the extreme s o r t of case, how can a man, as a u t i l i t a r i a n agent, come to regard as one s a t i s f a c t i o n among oth e r s , and a d i s p e n s i b l e one, a p r o j e c t or a t t i t u d e round which he has b u i l t h i s l i f e , j u s t because someone e l s e ' s p r o j e c t s have so s t r u c t u r e d the c a u s a l scene that t h a t i s how the u t i l i t a r i a n sum comes out? ... I t i s absurd to demand of such a man ... that he should j u s t step a s i d e from h i s own p r o j e c t and d e c i s i o n and acknowledge the d e c i s i o n which u t i l i t a r i a n c a l c u l a t i o n r e q u i r e s . I t i s to a l i e n a t e him i n a r e a l sense from h i s own a c t i o n s and the source of h i s a c t i o n i n h i s own c o n v i c t i o n s . I t i s to make him i n t o a channel between the input of everyone's p r o j e c t s , i n c l u d i n g h i s own, and an output of o p t i m i f i c d e c i s i o n ; but t h i s i s to n e g l e c t the extent to which h i s a c t i o n s and h i s d e c i s i o n s have to be seen as the a c t i o n s and d e c i s i o n s which flow from the p r o j e c t s and a t t i t u d e s with which he i s most c l o s e l y i d e n t i f i e d . I t i s thus, i n the most l i t e r a l sense, an a t t a c k on h i s i n t e g r i t y , f I t was noted e a r l i e r t h a t Brock c r i t i c i z e s AU on the grounds that i t a l l o w s an agent's ends to be too e a s i l y overwhelmed by the ends of o t h e r s . W i l l i a m s ' argument can be seen as an expansion of t h i s p o i n t i n an attempt to demonstrate an i n c o m p a t a b i l i t y between the d o c t r i n e of negative r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and pe r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y . f W i l l i a m s ( 2 ) : p. 116. AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 144 B. TWO INTERPRETATIONS While there i s a c e r t a i n appeal i n W i l l i a m s ' remarks, i t i s not c l e a r e x a c t l y what i t i s about the d o c t r i n e of negative r e s p o n s i b i l i t y that c o n s t i t u t e s the a t t a c k on p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y . In an e f f o r t to c l a r i f y W i l l i a m s ' i n s i g h t s i t w i l l be h e l p f u l to c o n s i d e r two d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of h i s remarks. 1. S c h e f f l e r ' s I n t e r p r e t a t i o n One p o s s i b l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of W i l l i a m s focuses on h i s r e f e r e n c e to the agent's p r o j e c t s as 'dispensable' under AU. Samuel S c h e f f l e r notes t h i s way of reading W i l l i a m s . One n a t u r a l way to read him i s as m a i n t a i n i n g that u t i l i t a r i a n i s m a l i e n a t e s an agent from h i s own a c t i o n s by making the p e r m i s s i b i l i t y of the agent's devoting energy to h i s p r o j e c t s and commitments dependent on the s t a t e of the world viewed from an impersonal s t a n d p o i n t . I f , through no f a u l t of the agent's, things get bad enough from the impersonal standpoint, h i s p r o j e c t s become d i s p e n s a b l e , f S c h e f f l e r goes on to note a d i f f i c u l t y i n c o n s t r u i n g W i l l i a m s ' remarks in t h i s manner. I t r e s u l t s i n the p o i n t having too wide an a p p l i c a t i o n . For v i r t u a l l y any moral theory w i l l make the p e r m i s s i b i l i t y of pursuing one's p r o j e c t s depend at l e a s t i n p a r t on the. s t a t e of the world from an impersonal s t a n d p o i n t . V i r t u a l l y any moral view w i l l h o l d that i f t h i n g s get bad enough t S c h e f f l e r ( 1 ) : p. 8. AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 145 from the impersonal standpoint, the agent's p r o j e c t s become d i s p e n s a b l e . ... [ I ] f the o b j e c t i o n from i n t e g r i t y i s i n t e r p r e t e d as an o b j e c t i o n to the i n - p r i n c i p l e d i s p e n s a b i l i t y of the agent's p r o j e c t s , then i t must be regarded as a c r i t i c i s m of almost a l l n o n - e g o i s t i c t h e o r i e s , and not as an o b j e c t i o n to which u t i l i t a r i a n i s m i s d i s t i n c t i v e l y v u l n e r a b l e . f In s h o r t , i t i s i m p l a u s i b l e to understand W i l l i a m s ' o b j e c t i o n as based on the i n - p r i n c i p l e d i s p e n s i b i l i t y of an agent's p r o j e c t s . An a l t e r n a t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s r e q u i r e d . S c h e f f l e r b e l i e v e s that i t i s p o s s i b l e to i n t e r p r e t W i l l i a m s ' o b j e c t i o n i n a manner which both captures i t s s p i r i t and l i m i t s i t s range of a p p l i c a t i o n . Such a f o r m u l a t i o n allows us to accomodate the c l a i m s of p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y while r e s i s t i n g the c l a i m s of egoism. S c h e f f l e r proposes that t h i s can be accomplished by a l l o w i n g the moral agent to a t t a c h g r e a t e r weight to her own i n t e r e s t s . U t i l i t a r i a n i s m thus r e q u i r e s the agent to a l l o c a t e energy and a t t e n t i o n to the p r o j e c t s and people he cares most about i n s t r i c t p r o p o r t i o n to the value from an impersonal standpoint of h i s doing so, even though people t y p i c a l l y a c q u i r e and care about t h e i r commitments q u i t e independently of, and out of p r o p o r t i o n t o , the value that t h e i r having and c a r i n g about them i s a s s i g n e d i n an impersonal ranking of o v e r a l l s t a t e s of a f f a i r s . I t i s t h i s f e a t u r e of u t i l i t a r i a n i s m which may be thought to a l i e n a t e the agent 'from h i s a c t i o n s and the source of h i s a c t i o n i n h i s own c o n v i c t i o n s ' , and thereby to undermine f S c h e f f l e r ( 1 ) : pp. 8-9. AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 146 h i s i n t e g r i t y . ! T h i s echoes Brock's p o i n t about AU too e a s i l y overwhelming the p r o j e c t s of the moral agent. P u t t i n g a s i d e the qu e s t i o n of whether t h i s c o n s t i t u t e s a proper i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of W i l l i a m s ' argument concerning i n t e g r i t y , such a p o s i t i o n does serve t o r a i s e i n t e r e s t i n g and important i s s u e s . By f o c u s i n g on the n o t i o n of ' s t r i c t p r o p o r t i o n ' , S c h e f f l e r proposes what seems t o be a n a t u r a l m o d i f i c a t i o n to AU. T h i s i n v o l v e s an attempt to move away from determining what i s r e q u i r e d of an agent p u r e l y i n terms of an impersonal ranking of s t a t e s of a f f a i r s . S c h e f f l e r ' s c o n t e n t i o n i s that i t i s p o s s i b l e to allow room f o r i n t e g r i t y i f i t i s acknowledged that an agent's i n t e r e s t s deserve s p e c i a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n when determining what i s mo r a l l y r e q u i r e d of the agent with r e s p e c t to the agent's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r a l t e r n a t i v e s t a t e s of a f f a i r s . T h i s r e s u l t s i n an agent being e n t i t l e d to give g r e a t e r weight to her own i n t e r e s t s . A c c o r d i n g l y , the agent i s not r e s p o n s i b l e f o r producing optimal s t a t e s of a f f a i r s when such p r o d u c t i o n stands beyond some r a t i o between the value of the optimal s t a t e of a f f a i r s and the s a c r i f i c e r e q u i r e d by the agent to produce such an outcome. I f a s a t i s f a c t o r y account along these general l i n e s c o u l d indeed be produced, I think that the r e s u l t would be an agent-centred p r e r o g a t i v e of j u s t the t S c h e f f l e r ( 1 ) : p. 9. AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 147 s o r t that i s r e q u i r e d . Such a p r e r o g a t i v e would o b v i o u s l y make i t p e r m i s s i b l e f o r agents to devote time and energy to t h e i r p r o j e c t s , commitments, and p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s out of p r o p o r t i o n to the weight from an impersonal standpoint of t h e i r doing so. ... Thus such a p r e r o g a t i v e would enable a normative view to accommodate p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y without c o l l a p s i n g i n t o egoism, f Such a r e v i s i o n of AU, a c c o r d i n g t o S c h e f f l e r , a l l o w s one to i n c o r p o r a t e i n t e g r i t y i n such a manner as to accommodate W i l l i a m s ' o b j e c t i o n . $ He r e f e r s to t h i s r e v i s i o n i n terms of an agent-centred p r e r o g a t i v e (ACP) that i n v o l v e s a s a c r i f i c e / g a i n r a t i o , and he goes to some e f f o r t to d i s t i n q u i s h t h i s view from c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s t concerns with which i t might be confused. In p a r t i c u l a r , S c h e f f l e r d i s t i n g u i s h e s the ACP from the c l a i m f r e q u e n t l y advanced by c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s t s that u t i l i t y i s maximized when agents focus most a t t e n t i o n , and expend most e f f o r t , upon t h e i r own p r o j e c t s . He notes two c o n s i d e r a t i o n s that are o f t e n presented i n support of such a view. F i r s t , i t i s s a i d that one i s i n a b e t t e r p o s i t i o n to promote one's own wel f a r e and the welfare of those one i s c l o s e s t to than to promote the welfar e of other people. So an agent produces f S c h e f f l e r ( 1 ) : pp. 20-21. t The q u e s t i o n of whether S c h e f f l e r ' s account meets W i l l i a m s ' o b j e c t i o n i s addressed l a t e r i n the present s e c t i o n . But i t i s worth n o t i n g here that one general d i f f i c u l t y with the account i s that i t seems u n l i k e l y that one c o u l d p r o v i d e an o b j e c t i v e d e t e r m i n a t i o n of t h i s r a t i o . AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 148 maximum good per u n i t of a c t i v i t y by f o c u s i n g h i s e f f o r t s on those he i s c l o s e s t t o, i n c l u d i n g h i m s e l f . Second, i t i s s a i d that human nature being what i t i s , people cannot f u n c t i o n e f f e c t i v e l y at a l l u n l e s s they devote somewhat more energy to promoting t h e i r own w e l l - b e i n g than to promoting the w e l l - b e i n g of other people. Here the appeal i s no longer to immediate c o n s e g u e n t i a l i s t advantages of promoting one's own w e l l - b e i n g , but rather to the long-term advantages of having p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y h e a l t h y agents who are e f f i c i e n t producers of the good, f He contends t h a t i t i s not h i s purpose to assess the p l a u s i b i l i t y of those two c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s t c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . Rather, S c h e f f l e r wants to c l a r i f y the way i n which the ACP c o n s t i t u t e s a departure from c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s m . The c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s t arguments are intended to show that one may f r e q u e n t l y be j u s t i f i e d , from a c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s t p o i n t of view, i n devoting more energy to one's own w e l f a r e than to the w e l f a r e of o t h e r s . These arguments in no way d e v i a t e from the c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s t p o s i t i o n t h a t one ought always to do what would have the best o v e r a l l outcome, and that one ought t h e r e f o r e to devote energy and a t t e n t i o n to one's p r o j e c t s and commitments in s t r i c t p r o p o r t i o n t o the weight of doing so from the impersonal s t a n d p o i n t . The arguments are simply intended, w i t h i n the context of that c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s t p o s i t i o n , to support a p a r t i c u l a r t h e s i s about the l i k e l y r e l a t i v e weighing from the impersonal standpoint of attempts to promote one's own w e l l - b e i n g and attempts to promote the w e l l - b e i n g of others.$ t S c h e f f l e r ( 1 ) : p. 15. t S c h e f f l e r ( 1 ) : pp. 16-17. AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 149 Having e x p l i c a t e d the f u n c t i o n of the two arguments w i t h i n a general c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s t , or AU, framework, S c h e f f l e r goes on to a r t i c u l a t e how t h i s d i f f e r s from an ACP account, which: ... would deny that people ought to devote energy and a t t e n t i o n to t h e i r p r o j e c t s and commitments i n s t r i c t p r o p o r t i o n to the weight from an impersonal standpoint of t h e i r doing so. I t would s y s t e m a t i c a l l y permit people, w i t h i n c e r t a i n l i m i t s , to devote energy and a t t e n t i o n to t h e i r p r o j e c t s and commitments even i f t h e i r doing so would not on balance promote the best outcomes o v e r a l l . Whereas the c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s t seeks to show that d evoting more a t t e n t i o n to one's own p r o j e c t s than to the welfare of other people i s o f t e n d e s i r a b l e on c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s t grounds, the f u n c t i o n of the agent-centred p r e r o g a t i v e would be to deny that the p e r m i s s i b i l i t y of d e v o t i n g energy to one's p r o j e c t s and commitments depends on the e f f i c a c y of such a c t i v i t y as an instrument of o v e r a l l b e n e f i t , t In t h i s manner S c h e f f l e r e x p l i c a t e s the t h e o r e t i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s between the ACP and more standard c o n s e q u e n t i a l i s t c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . To t h i s p o i n t the e x p l i c a t i o n of the ACP, and how i t c o n t r a s t s with AU has been at a h i g h l y a b s t r a c t l e v e l . I t i s now time to c o n s i d e r ACP i n l i g h t of a s p e c i f i c example. As the concerns expressed i n our e a r l i e r d i s c u s s i o n of the J i l l / J o e s c e n a r i o s p e r t a i n d i r e c t l y to the p o i n t of i n t r o d u c i n g the ACP, i t w i l l be u s e f u l to r e t u r n to them as t S c h e f f l e r ( 1 ) : p. 17. AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 1 5 0 a f o i l f o r c o n s i d e r i n g the ACP. In p a r t i c u l a r , the qu e s t i o n i s whether the ACP s u c c e s s f u l l y remedies the p e r c e i v e d d e f e c t s of AU. The o r i g i n a l s c e n a r i o i n v o l v i n g Joe concerns a s i t u a t i o n where Joe i s i n the p o s i t i o n of being able to produce one of two a l t e r n a t i v e s t a t e s of a f f a i r s . Joe can go to the movie, and not send ten d o l l a r s to the R e l i e f Fund. A l t e r n a t i v e l y , he can forgo the movie, and send the money to the R e l i e f Fund. AU concludes that Joe should give the money to famine r e l i e f . F u r t h e r , he i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the d i s u t i l i t y i n v o l v e d i n the f i r s t a l t e r n a t i v e i f he chooses to go to the movie. For AU, how much u t i l i t y r e s u l t s from h i s a c t i o n c o n s t i t u t e s the only c o n s i d e r a t i o n i n determining how Joe should a c t . An ACP i n v o l v e s more than the comparative e v a l u a t i o n of aggregate u t i l i t i e s . There are two a d d i t i o n a l f a c t o r s that are r e l e v a n t . One, the qu e s t i o n of how the u t i l i t i e s are d i s t r i b u t e d c o n s t i t u t e s a r e l e v a n t c o n s i d e r a t i o n f o r ACP, but not AU. In s h o r t , the 'For whom?' questio n has d i r e c t r e l e v a n c e . Two, given the in f o r m a t i o n concerning the agent's u t i l i t i e s , one c a l c u l a t e s the r a t i o between these u t i l i t i e s and the o v e r a l l u t i l i t i e s i n the a l t e r n a t i v e s t a t e s of a f f a i r s . For the sake of i l l u s t r a t i o n , l e t ' s a r b i t r a r i l y assume the s a c r i f i c e / g a i n r a t i o i s e s t a b l i s h e d a t two to one. In the f i r s t s t a t e of a f f a i r s Joe goes to the movie, and does not send the money to the R e l i e f Fund. Assume f u r t h e r that AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 151 t h i s s t a t e of a f f a i r s has an aggregate u t i l i t y of -17 u n i t s , with 3 a t t r i b u t e d to Joe and -20 to the c o n t i n u i n g hunger; and that the second s t a t e of a f f a i r s has a value of 7 u n i t s , with 10 due to the p o s i t i v e u t i l i t y of e l i m i n a t i n g some hunger and -3 f o r Joe missing the movie and h i s r e a c t i o n to such a s i t u a t i o n . The d i f f e r e n c e i n u t i l i t i e s f o r Joe between the two a l t e r n a t i v e s t a t e s of a f f a i r s i s 6 u n i t s . Given a s a c r i f i c e / g a i n r a t i o of two to one, the 6 u n i t s are m u l t i p l i e d by two, and the r e s u l t i s 12 u n i t s . For t h i s a r b i t r a r y understanding of the ACP, i f the d i f f e r e n c e between the two a l t e r n a t i v e s t a t e s of a f f a i r s i s g r e a t e r than 12 u n i t s , then Joe i s m o r a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e i f he does not act i n such a manner as to produce the optimal s t a t e of a f f a i r s . However, i f the d i f f e r e n c e i s l e s s than 12 u n i t s , then Joe i s not r e s p o n s i b l e , and i s f r e e to a c t i n the way that most s a t i s f i e s him. The d i f f e r e n c e between the t o t a l u t i l i t i e s i n v o l v e d in the two a l t e r n a t i v e s t a t e s of a f f a i r s i s 24. Thus, Joe i s m o r a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the d i s u t i l i t y of the c o n t i n u i n g hunger i f he chooses to go to the movie. While the ACP and AU produce the same r e s u l t i n t h i s case, i t should be noted t h a t there i s a s u b s t a n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e between the a l t e r n a t i v e c a l c u l a t i o n s . According to an AU framework Joe's moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s simply a r e s u l t of the d i f f e r e n c e between -17 and 7. However, with the ACP, Joe's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s a f u n c t i o n of the d i f f e r e n c e between AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 152 24 and 12. Given the d i f f e r e n t methods of c a l c u l a t i o n , i t i s c l e a r that the ACP y i e l d s the p o s s i b i l i t y of much more d i s c r e t i o n and l e s s moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y than does AU. However, ACP s t i l l f a i l s to pr o v i d e a b a s i s f o r adequately responding to the concerns r a i s e d by W i l l i a m s . These concerns c e n t r e on the idea that AU too e a s i l y overwhelms the p r o j e c t s and ends of the moral agent. I t i s t h i s f e a t u r e of AU to which Brock d i r e c t s h i s o b j e c t i o n s . W i l l i a m s shares Brock's concerns about c o n s t r u i n g the moral agent simply as some form of u t i l i t y producer and conductor. However, W i l l i a m s ' o b j e c t i o n s go beyond Brock's p o i n t . Because of the d o c t r i n e of negative r e s p o n s i b i l i t y AU leaves no moral space f o r i n d i v i d u a l s to r e f u s e to do c e r t a i n t h i n g s d e s p i t e t h e i r u t i l i t i e s . The f o r c e of the George and Jim cases concern whether they must perform c e r t a i n o b j e c t i o n a b l e a c t i o n s or al l o w others to do t h i n g s which have worse consequences. ACP f a i l s to address the f o r c e of W i l l i a m s ' examples. In an important way the p o i n t i s missed i f one t e l l s Jim that he should k i l l the Indian because of an (X)/(Y) s a c r i f i c e / g a i n r a t i o . The same p o i n t can be made with r e s p e c t to the i s s u e of whether George should take the job i n v o l v i n g chemical and b i o l o g i c a l warfare. Again the iss u e i n v o l v e s more than simply a s a c r i f i c e / g a i n r a t i o . t t ACP shares another problem with AU. As we have seen, s i n c e AU simply compares the u t i l i t i e s of a l t e r n a t i v e s t a t e s of a f f a i r s , the t h e o r e t i c a l s t r u c t u r e does not allow f o r que s t i o n s about the reasonableness of s p e c i f i c u t i l i t i e s . As AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 153 S c h e f f l e r b e l i e v e s that the ACP allows s u f f i c i e n t p r o t e c t i o n f o r an agent's i n t e g r i t y . T h i s i s mistaken. The p r o t e c t i o n p r o v i d e d i s of the agent's i n t e r e s t s , whatever they are, and independent of whether there i s any connection with the agent's i n t e g r i t y . W i l l i a m s ' concerns r e l a t e to p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y , as i t i s expressed or r e a l i z e d i n an agent's most c e n t r a l p r o j e c t s and commitments. S c h e f f l e r ' s proposed p r o t e c t i o n i n c l u d e s every i n t e r e s t that the agent has, whether or not i t p e r t a i n s t o c e n t r a l commitments or p r o j e c t s . So, f o r example, ACP p r o v i d e s moral p r o t e c t i o n f o r Joe's i n t e r e s t i n going to the movies. And t h i s i n t e r e s t h a r d l y can be seen as connected with p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y . While the ACP does allow an agent g r e a t e r moral d i s c r e t i o n , there i s no reason to construe t h i s d i s c r e t i o n i n terms of p r e s e r v i n g p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y . The ACP seems inadequate i n the George case (and imaginably even i n the Jim case) because i n t h i s case i t i s not simply a matter of George's i n t e r e s t s being overwhelmed. Rather i t i s a matter of r e q u i r i n g George to do something that d i r e c t l y v i o l a t e s h i s most c e n t r a l v a l u e s . Again, imagine that Jim i s a p a c i f i s t . Even i f i t i s true that he should k i l l the Indian, the matter i s more complex than e i t h e r a s t a i g h t f o r w a r d AU t ( c o n t ' d ) Brock notes, an advocate of AU seems committed to i n c l u d i n g , f o r example, r a c i s t and s e x i s t p r e f e r e n c e s , with t h e i r corresponding u t i l i t i e s , i n t o the d e t e r m i n a t i o n of what c o n s t i t u t e s optimal s t a t e s of a f f a i r s . T h i s problem p e r s i s t s i n S c h e f f l e r ' s ACP. AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 154 u t i l i t y c a l c u l a t i o n or an ACP s a c r i f i c e / g a i n r a t i o a l l o w s . So, d e s p i t e i t s i n i t i a l p l a u s i b i l i t y , ACP f a i l s to s a t i s f a c t o r i l y meet the type of concern r a i s e d by W i l l i a m s . The reason f o r t h i s f a i l u r e r e s t s i n the f a c t that ACP s t i l l determines the r i g h t a c t i o n upon the b a s i s of favourable u t i l i t y c a l c u l a t i o n s . The only d i f f e r e n c e between AU and ACP i n v o l v e s t h e i r analyses of what c o n s t i t u t e s favourable u t i l i t y c a l c u l a t i o n s . By m a i n t a i n i n g the same b a s i c s t r u c t u r e as AU, ACP remains open to the same o b j e c t i o n s as AU. S c h e f f l e r , by f o c u s i n g on what s t a t e s of a f f a i r s are produced, produces an account which f a i l s to come to g r i p s with the i s s u e of who produces the s t a t e s of a f f a i r s . W i l l i a m s ' concerns about i n t e g r i t y are not r e d u c i b l e to what s t a t e s of a f f a i r s are produced. S c h e f f l e r seems to thin k that by reducing the moral demands of AU through a l l o w i n g agents t o gi v e g r e a t e r weight to t h e i r own i n t e r e s t s that W i l l i a m s ' concerns about i n t e g r i t y can be s a t i s f i e d . T h i s i s not so. In order to f u r t h e r c l a r i f y W i l l i a m s ' concerns about negative r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and i n t e g r i t y i t i s u s e f u l to examine a second d i s c u s s i o n of W i l l i a m s . I t i s to Honderich's d i s c u s s i o n that we now t u r n . AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 155 2. Honderich's I n t e r p r e t a t i o n Honderich focuses on W i l l i a m s ' case i n v o l v i n g George's t a k i n g the job i n the b i o l o g i c a l warfare l a b o r a t o r y . According to Honderich, there i s a need to p r o v i d e some p r i n c i p l e which can lend support to W i l l i a m s ' i m p l i c i t judgement that George's a c t i o n i n r e f u s i n g the job i s p e r m i s s i b l e . The main d i f f i c u l t y about the case, i t seems to me, i s that of a c t u a l l y f i n d i n g what c o n s i d e r a t i o n of p r i n c i p l e i t i s which i s supposed to l e a d us to agree that the chemist's act i n r e f u s i n g the job i s r i g h t . That c o n s i d e r a t i o n or p r i n c i p l e i s not a c t u a l l y s u p p l i e d to us. Let us see what, i f anything, can be found, f The f i r s t p o s s i b i l i t y that Honderich c o n s i d e r s i n v o l v e s there simply being c o n s i s t e n c y between the agent's a c t i o n s and a t t i t u d e s . The f i r s t of them which must be got out of the way i s the matter of f a c t t h a t that chemist, i n r e f u s i n g the job, i s a c t i n g in accordance with deep a t t i t u d e s of h i s own. His a c t i o n i s i n no sense i n c o n f l i c t with these a t t i t u d e s , whatever they a r e . Hence we say, i f o b s c u r e l y , that there e x i s t s a u n i t y or a whole. He remains whole. I n t e g r i t y , i n a l i t e r a l sense, i s maintained. $ Honderich immediately r e j e c t s t h i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n as p r o v i d i n g any b a s i s f o r c l a i m i n g that George's a c t i o n i s r i g h t . f HondericM 1 ) : p. 38. $ HondericM 1 ): p. 38 . AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 156 In t h i s , however, we have no c o n s i d e r a t i o n whatever that might l e a d us to agree that r e f u s i n g the job i s the r i g h t t h i n g to do. I t seems obvious enough that there i s no connection whatever between the d e s c r i b e d i n t e g r i t y and r i g h t a c t s . An act of i n t e g r i t y i n t h i s sense, given c e r t a i n imaginable deep a t t i t u d e s on the part of an agent, w i l l be an act of a b s o l u t e immorality. Nothing f o l l o w s about the Tightness or wrongness of the act from the f a c t alone t h a t i t i s i n l i n e with an agent's deep a t t i t u d e s , which presumably may be of any kind, t So, i n t e g r i t y , i n the sense of m a i n t a i n i n g c o n s i s t e n c y with deeply f e l t a t t i t u d e s , p r o v i d e s no b a s i s f o r c l a i m i n g that George's a c t i o n i s m o r a l l y r i g h t . Some other c o n s i d e r a t i o n i s r e q u i r e d i n order to allow f o r the c o n c l u s i o n that the a c t i o n i s r i g h t . A second p o s s i b i l i t y which Honderich c o n s i d e r s b u i l d s upon the f i r s t p r o p o s a l . To say the chemist p r e s e r v e s h i s i n t e g r i t y by r e f u s i n g the job, then, i s n e c e s s a r i l y to do something other than s t a t e a m o r a l l y i r r e l e v a n t and somewhat obscure matter of f a c t . I t i s to approve of him, to commend him. I t may be to approve of him or to commend him because, as we may say, he i s t r u e to  h i m s e l f . The chemist perseveres i n c e r t a i n deep a t t i t u d e s . The second s p e c u l a t i o n about what i s s a i d of i n t e g r i t y i s of course r e l a t e d to the f i r s t , and i t faces a s i m i l a r o b j e c t i o n . $ Honderich r a i s e s e s s e n t i a l l y the same o b j e c t i o n to t h i s f H o n d e r i c M 1 ) : pp. 38-39. i Honderich!1): p. 39. AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 157 suggestion as he d i d to the l a s t . There are s e v e r a l r e l a t e d t h i n g s to be s a i d about t h i s second s p e c u l a t i o n as to the matter of i n t e g r i t y . One i s the general one that there seems to be very l i t t l e r e l e v a n t connection between a man being commendable i n the given way and h i s a c t i o n being r i g h t . A man, i t seems, can be commendable f o r the reason that he i s true t o hi m s e l f no matter what act he performs, so long as he himself i s mo r a l l y committed to i t . A l l that i s r e q u i r e d i s that he s t i c k s to h i s moral c o n v i c t i o n s , whatever they are, having to do with a s e l f - p i c t u r e or not. An a p p a l l i n g l y wrong a c t , perhaps one of p o i n t l e s s t o r t u r e , does not move a b i t in the d i r e c t i o n of being r i g h t when we l e a r n that the t o r t u r e r i s being true to h i m s e l f , f Honderich makes an important p o i n t . Knowing that someone i s being t r u e to h e r s e l f does not e n t a i l that her a c t i o n i s mor a l l y r i g h t . However, t h i s p o i n t has no f o r c e with respect to W i l l i a m s ' concerns about i n t e g r i t y . Honderich's d i s c u s s i o n seems to i n v o l v e the s u p p o s i t i o n that i n t e g r i t y i s to r e p l a c e AU as the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c which makes an a c t i o n morally r i g h t . T h i s f a i l s to a c c u r a t e l y p o r t r a y W i l l i a m s ' concern. W i l l i a m s ' p o i n t i s that AU (as d e f i n i n g the rightness-making c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a c t i o n s ) i s incompatible with i n t e g r i t y . H is c l a i m i s not that i n t e g r i t y can serve as a replacement f o r AU. C l e a r l y i n t e g r i t y i s not s u f f i c i e n t f o r T i g h t n e s s . But any account of T i g h t n e s s t h a t puts i n t e g r i t y c o n s t a n t l y i n p e r i l i s suspect. M o r a l i t y i s t H o n d e r i c M 1 ): p. 39. AU and Moral R e s p o n s i b i l i t y / 158 fo r persons, and i t thereby must g e n e r a l l y respect the i n t e g r i t y of the person. A f t e r a l l , a c t i o n s are always someone's a c t i o n s . And any a c c e p t a b l e account of r i g h t a c t i o n must leave the someone i n t a c t , and not turn her i n t o simply a u t i l i t y conductor and c a u s a l machine i n producing the optimal s t a t e of a f f a i r s . Both S c h e f f l e r and Honderich have misconstrued the nature and depth of W i l l i a m s ' concerns about AU and i n t e g r i t y . H i s concern i s that AU r e s u l t s i n an account of r i g h t a c t i o n which i s incompatible with the p r e s e r v a t i o n of pe r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y . Honderich construes W i l l i a m s as proposing that i n t e g r i t y r e p l a c e AU as the account of r i g h t a c t i o n . T h i s i s a m i s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of W i l l i a m s . S c h e f f l e r holds t h a t Williams* o b j e c t i o n s t o AU can be s a t i s f i e d by simply a l l o w i n g an agent to give g r e a t e r weight to her own i n t e r e s t s , i n c l u d i n g commitments and p r o j e c t s . Rather than p e r t a i n i n g e s s e n t i a l l y to the i s s u e of i n t e g r i t y , t h i s seems more n a t u r a l l y understood as a con c e s s i o n to egoism. I t i s necessary to explore f u r t h e r the r e l a t i o n s h i p between AU and pe r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y , and the d i s c u s s i o n now turns to such e x p l o r a t i o n . V I . AU AND INTEGRITY C l a r i f y i n g what c o n s t i t u t e s an i d e a l AU moral agent p r o v i d e s a c r u c i a l c o n t r a s t by which to c o n s i d e r AU and pe r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y . The f o r m u l a t i o n of AU adopted throughout t h i s undertaking has been the f o l l o w i n g : An a ct i s r i g h t i f and only i f the consequences of performing i t are at l e a s t as good as the consequences a s s o c i a t e d with the performance of any a l t e r n a t i v e a ct open t o the agent, f From t h i s , together with the ' r e i t e r a t i v e ' argument, we reached the c o n c l u s i o n that an agent's AU moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s must extend f a r beyond commonly accepted l i m i t s to such r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . T h i s c o n c l u s i o n r a i s e s q u e s t i o n s about the moral s t a t u s of p e r s o n a l i d e a l s , p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s and pe r s o n a l i d e n t i t y . I t i s to these q u e s t i o n s that we now t u r n . A. AU MORAL AGENTS AND MORAL SAINTS Singer accepts the idea that people's o b l i g a t i o n s do extend much f u r t h e r than they commonly b e l i e v e and hence th a t common p o r t r a y a l s of o b l i g a t i o n are wrong. However, while he i s an advocate of AU, Singer acknowledges the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of people a c t u a l l y f u l f i l l i n g t h e i r o b l i g a t i o n s as understood i n terms of AU. Taking s e r i o u s l y the idea of i m p a r t i a l concern f o r a l l would be impossibly t S a r t o r i u s ( 1 ) : p. 18. 159 AU and I n t e g r i t y / 1 6 0 demanding; there i s always something I can do to make someone e l s e a l i t t l e h a p p ier. True, any l o s s of happiness I myself incur i n working f o r others would have to be set a g a i n s t the happiness I b r i n g about; but even so, as long as there are others who w i l l b e n e f i t more from my help than h e l p i n g w i l l c o s t me, an e t h i c which commands us to aim, d i r e c t l y and i m p a r t i a l l y , at the welfar e of a l l renders m o r a l l y dubious a l l my l e i s u r e and s e l f - i n d u l g e n c e above the minimum I need to recuperate to be f i t fo r more welfare-maximizing l a b o r s . T h i s i s an e t h i c f o r s a i n t s , f Singer p o r t r a y s AU as an e t h i c f o r moral s a i n t s , with the i d e a l AU moral agent a c t u a l l y being a moral s a i n t . Thus, the m a j o r i t y of nonwelfare-maximizing a c t i v i t i e s become s e l f - i n d u l g e n t a c t i v i t i e s that are m o r a l l y dubious. But perhaps one might as w e l l say that AU moral theory i s i t s e l f dubious a t t h i s p o i n t because i t p l a c e s impossible demands on the agent and then p o r t r a y s an agent who f a i l s to s a t i s f y these demands as morally s e l f - i n d u l g e n t . Susan Wolf echoes S i n g e r ' s p o i n t that there i s v i r t u a l l y no l i m i t on what i s morally r e q u i r e d of the AU moral agent. U t i l i t a r i a n i s m r e q u i r e s him to want to achieve the g r e a t e s t general happiness, and t h i s would seem to commit him to the i d e a l of the moral s a i n t . ... The gain i n happiness that would accrue to on e s e l f and one's neighbors by a more well-rounded, r i c h e r l i f e than that of the moral s a i n t would be p a t h e t i c a l l y small i n comparison to the amount by which one c o u l d i n c r e a s e the general t S i n g e r ( 8 ) : p. 159. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 161 happiness i f one devoted o n e s e l f e x p l i c i t l y to the care of the s i c k , the downtrodden, the s t a r v i n g , and the homeless.f In her account of the requirements imposed by AU, Wolf f o l l o w s S i n g e r . Yet Wolf d e s c r i b e s the nonsaint i n terms of a "well-rounded, r i c h e r l i f e " , a g a i n s t S i n g e r ' s r e f e r e n c e to moral s e l f - i n d u l g e n c e . And i n general she notes that f a l l i n g short of the AU s a i n t l y i d e a l cannot be c h a r a c t e r i z e d p o s i t i v e l y from an AU p e r s p e c t i v e . Of course, there may be p s y c h o l o g i c a l l i m i t s to the extent to which a person can devote himsel f to such t h i n g s without going c r a z y . But the u t i l i t a r i a n ' s i n d i v i d u a l l i m i t a t i o n s would not thereby become a p o s i t i v e f e a t u r e of h i s p e r s o n a l i d e a l s , $ The c o n t e n t i o n that i t i s impossible (at l e a s t f o r most people) to s a t i s f y the requirements of AU i d e a l i s m seems c o r r e c t . As Singer notes: If we were more r a t i o n a l , we would be d i f f e r e n t : we would use our resources to save as many l i v e s as p o s s i b l e , i r r e s p e c t i v e of whether we do i t by reducing the road t o l l or by saving s p e c i f i c , i d e n t i f i a b l e l i v e s ; and we would be no r e a d i e r to k i l l c h i l d r e n from great h e i g h t s than face to f a c e . An e t h i c s that r e l i e d s o l e l y on an appeal to i m p a r t i a l r a t i o n a l i l t y would, however, be f o l l o w e d only by the i m p a r t i a l l y r a t i o n a l . An e t h i c f o r human beings must take them as they a r e , or as they have some chance of becoming. * t W o l f ( 1 ) : p. 428. $ W o l f ( 1 ) : p. 428. * S i n g e r ( 8 ) : p. 157. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 162 However, t h i s avoids Wolf's fundamental q u e s t i o n . Besides the i s s u e of the extent to which people c o u l d become ' i m p a r t i a l l y r a t i o n a l ' , the more b a s i c q u e s t i o n i s whether ' i m p a r t i a l r a t i o n a l i t y ' , i n the sense meant by AU, p r o p e r l y can serve as a pe r s o n a l i d e a l which i t would be good f o r people t o s t r i v e toward. Wolf c o n s i d e r s the d e s i r a b i l i t y of the i d e a l of moral sainthood and f i n d s i t u n s a t i s f a c t o r y . She notes the f o l l o w i n g . I don't know whether there are any moral s a i n t s . But i f there are, I am g l a d that n e i t h e r I nor those about whom I care are among them. By moral s a i n t I mean a person whose every a c t i o n i s as m o r a l l y good as p o s s i b l e , a person, that i s , who i s as mo r a l l y worthy as can be. ... I b e l i e v e that moral p e r f e c t i o n , i n the sense of moral s a i n t l i n e s s , does not c o n s t i t u t e a model of p e r s o n a l w e l l - b e i n g toward which i t would be p a r t i c u l a r l y r a t i o n a l or good or d e s i r a b l e f o r a human being to s t r i v e , f There i s a c e r t a i n t e n s i o n i n Wolf's s u g g e s t i o n . I f a moral s a i n t i s someone who s t r i v e s toward i m p a r t i a l r a t i o n a l i t y i n accordance with AU s a i n t l i n e s s , then the d e n i a l that i t would be p a r t i c u l a r l y r a t i o n a l to be i m p a r t i a l l y r a t i o n a l seems p a r a d o x i c a l . The paradox may be r e s o l v e d by no t i n g that i t would not n e c e s s a r i l y be more r a t i o n a l ( i . e . , higher on a s c a l e of r a t i o n a l p r e f e r e n c e ) to choose to become more p u r e l y r a t i o n a l ( i . e . , more completely dominated by ideas of t W o l f ( 1 ) : p. 419. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 163 i m p a r t i a l a i d ) . T h i s r e s o l u t i o n , however, prompts the q u e s t i o n about whether being dominated by ideas of i m p a r t i a l r a t i o n a l i t y i_s to be as m o r a l l y good or worthy as p o s s i b l e . f T h i s q u e s t i o n r e l a t e s to the i s s u e of the supremacy of m o r a l i t y i n p r a c t i c a l reason—whether m o r a l i t y o f f e r s the supreme i d e a l which encompasses e v e r y t h i n g of fundamental importance or whether m o r a l i t y i s one i d e a l that i s set a g a i n s t and i n c o m p e t i t i o n with other nonmoral i d e a l s . Wolf app a r e n t l y endorses the l a t t e r view and suggests that i t has general p u b l i c acceptance. R e f e r r i n g to her d i s c u s s i o n of the u n d e s i r a b i l i t y of moral s a i n t l i n e s s she says: Outside of the context of moral d i s c u s s i o n , t h i s w i l l s t r i k e many as an obvious p o i n t . But, w i t h i n that c o n t e x t , the p o i n t , i f i t be granted, w i l l be granted with some d i s c o m f o r t . For w i t h i n t h a t context i t i s g e n e r a l l y assumed that one ought to be as morally good as p o s s i b l e and that what l i m i t s there are to m o r a l i t y ' s h o l d on us are set by f e a t u r e s of human nature of which we ought not to be proud. $ Wolf's p o i n t i s w e l l taken. S i n g e r , f o r example, seems to b e l i e v e that i t i s a t r a g i c f e a t u r e of human beings that they cannot achieve the i d e a l of i m p a r t i a l r a t i o n a l i t y . I f only people c o u l d become moral s a i n t s , the world would be a t I t a l s o opens the q u e s t i o n of whether the moral s a i n t i s d e s c r i b e d more p r o p e r l y as a moral f a n a t i c , s i n c e what Wolf p o r t r a y s as a moral i d e a l may be more a p t l y construed as a moral extreme which may be admirable only i n some r e s p e c t s . * W o l f ( 1 ) : p. 419. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 164 b e t t e r p l a c e . But s u c h a c l a i m a p p e a r s v e r y d u b i o u s i n l i g h t o f t h e a l m o s t u n i v e r s a l r e j e c t i o n o f t h e m o r a l s a i n t a s a model f o r l i v i n g . Most p e o p l e have s e r i o u s r e s e r v a t i o n s a b o u t whether m o r a l s a i n t l i n e s s c o n s t i t u t e s an i d e a l t o w a r d w h i c h t o s t r i v e . To c l a r i f y s u c h r e s e r v a t i o n s Wolf p r o v i d e s a f u l l e r d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e m o r a l s a i n t . She a d v a n c e s a l i s t o f q u a l i t i e s t h a t a m o r a l s a i n t w o u l d need t o p o s s e s s . B u t , above a l l , a m o r a l s a i n t must have and c u l t i v a t e t h o s e q u a l i t i e s w h i c h a r e a p t t o a l l o w him t o t r e a t o t h e r s as j u s t l y and k i n d l y a s p o s s i b l e . He w i l l h ave t h e s t a n d a r d m o r a l v i r t u e s t o a n o n s t a n d a r d d e g r e e . He w i l l be p a t i e n t , c o n s i d e r a t e , e v e n - t e m p e r e d , h o s p i t a b l e , c h a r i t a b l e i n t h o u g h t a s w e l l a s i n d e e d . He w i l l be v e r y r e l u c t a n t t o make n e g a t i v e j udgements o f o t h e r p e o p l e . He w i l l be c a r e f u l n o t t o f a v o r some p e o p l e o v e r o t h e r s on t h e b a s i s of p r o p e r t i e s t h e y c o u l d n o t h e l p b u t h a v e . t Wolf t h e n goes on t o s u g g e s t t h a t t h e r e i s s o m e t h i n g t r o u b l i n g a b o u t a p e r s o n who manages t o s a t i s f y s u c h a d e s c r i p t i o n . P e r h a p s what I have a l r e a d y s a i d i s enough t o make some p e o p l e b e g i n t o r e g a r d t h e a b s e n c e o f m o r a l s a i n t s i n t h e i r l i v e s as a b l e s s i n g . F o r t h e r e comes a p o i n t i n t h e l i s t i n g of v i r t u e s t h a t a m o r a l s a i n t i s l i k e l y t o have where one m i g h t n a t u r a l l y b e g i n t o wonder whether t h e m o r a l s a i n t i s n ' t , a f t e r a l l , t o o g o o d — i f n o t t o o good f o r h i s own good, a t l e a s t t o o good f o r h i s own w e l l - b e i n g . F o r t h e m o r a l v i r t u e s , g i v e n t h a t t h e y a r e , by h y p o t h e s i s , a l l t W o l f ( 1 ) : p. 421. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 165 present i n the same i n d i v i d u a l , and to an extreme degree, are apt to crowd out the nonmoral v i r t u e s , as w e l l as many of the i n t e r e s t s and p e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h at we g e n e r a l l y t h i n k c o n t r i b u t e to a h e a l t h y , well-rounded, r i c h l y developed c h a r a c t e r , f Ambivalence about the nature of the moral s a i n t i s even more s t r i k i n g when one c o n s i d e r s how dominance by the moral v i r t u e s m a nifests i t s e l f i n terms of a c t i o n s and p r o j e c t s . ... i f the moral s a i n t i s de v o t i n g a l l h i s time to fee d i n g the hungry or h e a l i n g the s i c k o r r a i s i n g money f o r Oxfam, then n e c e s s a r i l y he i s not reading V i c t o r i a n n o v e l s , p l a y i n g the oboe, or improving h i s backhand. Although no one of the i n t e r e s t s or t a s t e s i n the category c o n t a i n i n g these l a t t e r a c t i v i t i e s c o u l d be claimed to be a necessary element i n a l i f e w e l l l i v e d , a l i f e i n which none of these p o s s i b l e aspects of c h a r a c t e r are developed may seem to be a l i f e s t r a n g e l y barren. $ The barrenness of such a l i f e r e s u l t s from the a l l p e r v a s i v e nature of the concern with doing the m o r a l l y r i g h t t h i n g . The moral s a i n t and the i d e a l AU moral agent both need to be dominated by the same b a s i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , and they w i l l act i n much the same ways. Defenders of the i d e a l moral agent of AU, as the p e r s o n a l i d e a l to be aimed a t , may contend that nonmoral p r o j e c t s and c h a r a c t e r t r a i t s must be a p a r t of the i d e a l AU moral agent and h i s l i f e . Wolf, however, p o i n t s out that t W o l f ( 1 ) : p. 421. $ W o l f ( 1 ) : p. 421. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 166 such t r a i t s do not have independent va l u e . I t may be that a good g o l f game i s j u s t what i s needed to secure that b i g donation f o r Oxfam. Perhaps the c u l t i v a t i o n of one's e x c e p t i o n a l a r t i s t i c t a l e n t w i l l turn out to be the way one can make one's g r e a t e s t c o n t r i b u t i o n to s o c i e t y . ... The moral s a i n t , then, may, by happy a c c i d e n t , f i n d h i m s e l f with nonmoral v i r t u e s on which he can c a p i t a l i z e m o r a lly or which make p s y c h o l o g i c a l demands to which he has no ch o i c e but to a t t e n d . The p o i n t i s t h a t , f o r a moral s a i n t , the e x i s t e n c e of these i n t e r e s t s and s k i l l s can be given at best the s t a t u s of happy a c c i d e n t s - t h e y cannot be encouraged f o r t h e i r own sakes as d i s t i n c t , independent aspects of the r e a l i z a t i o n of human good, f Yet i t remains true that we va l u e , admire and encourage nonmoral t r a i t s i n ways that do not depend upon t h e i r being e f f e c t i v e means f o r ge n e r a t i n g u t i l i t y . In f a c t , we f r e q u e n t l y form our i d e a l s i n terms of such nonmoral c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . With r e f e r e n c e to such i d e a l f i g u r e s Wolf notes the f o l l o w i n g . One would hope that they would be f i g u r e s who are mor a l l y good-and by t h i s I mean more than j u s t not m o r a l l y bad-but one would hope, too, that they are not j u s t m o r a l l y good, but t a l e n t e d or accomplished or a t t r a c t i v e i n nonmoral ways as w e l l . We may make i d e a l s out of a t h l e t e s , s c h o l a r s , a r t i s t s - m o r e f r i v o l o u s l y , out of cowboys, p r i v a t e eyes, and rock s t a r s . ... Though there i s c e r t a i n l y nothing immoral about the i d e a l c h a r a c t e r s or t r a i t s I have i n mind, they cannot be superimposed upon the i d e a l of a moral t W o l f ( 1 ) : p. 425. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 167 s a i n t . For although i t i s pa r t of many of these i d e a l s that the c h a r a c t e r s set high, and not merely a c c e p t a b l e , moral standards f o r themselves, i t i s a l s o e s s e n t i a l t o t h e i r power and a t t r a c t i v e n e s s that the moral s t r e n g t h s go, so to speak, along s i d e of s p e c i f i c , independently admirable, nonmoral ground p r o j e c t s and dominant p e r s o n a l t r a i t s . t Wolf's p o i n t i s that AU i d e a l i s m t h r e a t e n s many of our i d e a l s and much of what we normally p e r c e i v e as having v a l u e . Even g r a n t i n g the e x i s t e n c e of t h i s t h r e a t , i t remains an open q u e s t i o n how much f o r c e the c o n f l i c t between AU and o r d i n a r y i d e a l s and valu e s has as a c r i t i c i s m of AU. A defender of AU simply may r e j e c t these normal i d e a l s and values i n favour of AU. Whenever the c o n f l i c t i s a r e a l one, and not merely an apparent c o n f l i c t , dependent on the omission of f a c t o r s which the a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n can and should take i n t o account, the genuine a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n w i l l be prepared to j e t t i s o n h i s " o r d i n a r y moral c o n v i c t i o n s " r a t h e r than the p r i n c i p l e of a c t - u t i l i t a r i a n i s m . $ However, i t i s important to a p p r e c i a t e j u s t what i s i n v o l v e d i n r e j e c t i n g a l l values except those that are underwritten by the AU p r i n c i p l e . The i s s u e goes f a r beyond the c l a i m that moral sainthood i s an i d e a l that we simply f a i l to ach i e v e . R e j e c t i n g the value of nonmoral s t r i v i n g s , f W o l f ( 1 ) : pp. 422-423. t S i n g e r ( 2 ) : p. 94. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 168 ' commitments and ground p r o j e c t s has s e r i o u s r a m i f i c a t i o n s concerning p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y , as t h i s i s i n v o l v e d i n the agent's p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s and p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y . B . P E R S O N A L I D E N T I T Y , P E R S O N A L R E L A T I O N S A N D P E R S O N A L I N T E G R I T Y R e j e c t i n g the value of nonmoral ground p r o j e c t s and dominant p e r s o n a l t r a i t s r a i s e s i s s u e s that are connected with W i l l i a m s ' concerns about the way AU's endorsement of negative r e s p o n s i b i l i t y r e s u l t s i n the s a c r i f i c e of p e r s o n a l p r o j e c t s because of 'favourable' u t i l i t y c a l c u l a t i o n s . Such s a c r i f i c e s are only compatible with an i d e a l of moral agency in terms of moral s a i n t l i n e s s . The p r i n c i p a l d i f f i c u l t y with t h i s understanding of moral agency goes beyond concerns about u n r e a l i s t i c demands. Moral agents who s a t i s f y t h i s i d e a l do not have any p e r s o n a l t r a i t s and commitments which have value o u t s i d e of t h e i r c a u s a l e f f i c a c y i n producing impersonal u t i l i t y . T h i s u l t i m a t e l y t h r e a t e n s our concept of p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y . The moral s a i n t and the i d e a l AU moral agent represent an i d e a l which i s incompatible- with p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y because the i d e a l r e q u i r e s the s a c r i f i c e of the p e r s o n a l s e l f . An agent's p e r s o n a l s e l f ( i . e . , her p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y ) o f t e n i s grounded in i n d i v i d u a l commitments and p r o j e c t s which serve to d e f i n e , u n i f y and give meaning to an agent's AU and I n t e g r i t y / 169 l i f e . By r e q u i r i n g that such commitments and p r o j e c t s be s a c r i f i c e d i n l i g h t of f a v o u r a b l e u t i l i t y c a l c u l a t i o n s , AU t h r e a t e n s the very c h a r a c t e r s i t i c s which d e f i n e an agent as a d i s t i n c t person with an i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y . R e c a l l W i l l i a m s ' case of George, the chemist who b e l i e v e s he cannot accept a job i n a l a b o r a t o r y pursuing r e s e a r c h i n chemical and b i o l o g i c a l warfare because of h i s s t r o n g o p p o s i t i o n to such methods of warfare.t Because of v a r i o u s c o m p l i c a t i o n s , an AU assessment seems to r e q u i r e that George accept the p o s i t i o n . But, s i n c e h i s p r i n c i p l e d r e j e c t i o n of chemical and b i o l o g i c a l warfare may express a c e n t r a l commitment of George's l i f e , AU r e q u i r e s the s a c r i f i c e of a commitment which d e f i n e s George as an agent d i s t i n c t from, f o r example, the o l d e r chemist in the s t o r y who works in the l a b o r a t o r y . AU's being l i k e l y to r e q u i r e the s a c r i f i c e of such p e r s o n a l ground p r o j e c t s i s a s e r i o u s l i a b i l i t y . For such a requirement u l t i m a t e l y q u e s t i o n s the moral p e r m i s s i b i l i t y of an agent's having and maintaing a w e l l - d e f i n e d p e r s o n a l s e l f ( i . e . , a s e l f which i s more than simply a c o n t i n u i n g s u b j e c t of e x p e r i e n c e s ) . T h i s concern i s expressed by W.E. Cooper when he suggests that moral p r o p o s a l s must be compatible with l i v i n g a 'human' l i f e . f W i l l i a m s p r o v i d e s the George case i n W i l l i a m s ( 2 ) : pp. 97-98. The example i s f i r s t presented and d i s c u s s e d i n the present work i n Chapter F i v e , S e c t i o n A. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 170 As f o r the n o t i o n , j u s t i n t r o d u c e d , of a human l i f e or human form of l i f e ( a l t e r n a t i v e l y : a genuinely human l i f e , a l i f e worth l i v i n g ) , I w i l l employ i t with a somewhat s p e c i a l sense. A human l i f e i s a human's l i f e , when there i s a deep m o t i v a t i o n to l i v e i t . The requirement of a deep m o t i v a t i o n i s meant to demand a r i c h e r m o t i v a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e than an animal's urge t o s u r v i v e , a fear of death, and the l i k e . The idea of a human l i f e suggests a reasonable c o n s t r a i n t on moral p r o p o s a l s : they should be compatible with l e a d i n g a genuinely human l i f e . A str o n g e r c o n s t r a i n t a l s o seems reasonable: they should be compatible with our l i v e s c o n t i n u i n g to be human. That i s , whatever changes might be made i n our l i v e s , by the adoption of a moral p r o p o s a l , those changes would leave enough of us i n t a c t - p r o p e r t i e s of o u r s e l v e s that are important to us, e t c . - s o that we would remain deeply motivated to continue l i v i n g , f Cooper's concern about m o r a l i t y l e a v i n g enough of the person i n t a c t such that there s t i l l remains a deep m o t i v a t i o n to continue l i v i n g belongs with the kinds of concerns expressed by W i l l i a m s . The i d e a l AU moral agent i s t o t a l l y dominated by moral requirements; dominated to the extent that the person of the agent i s threatened with e x t i n c t i o n . As Wi l l i a m s argues, the a l l p e r v a s i v e nature of AU r e q u i r e s the s u b o r d i n a t i o n of any of the agent's p e r s o n a l p r o j e c t s that happen at any p o i n t and f o r whatever reason to be outweighed in an impersonal u t i l i t y c a l c u l a t i o n . But then how can any perso n a l p r o j e c t s be expected to s u r v i v e ? Cooper's concern t Cooper(1): p. 521. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 171 about remaining 'human' i s e s s e n t i a l l y the same concern that W i l l i a m s addresses through h i s d i s c u s s i o n of i n t e g r i t y . Cooper goes on to note the dominant t r a i t of an agent who i s completely a l i e n a t e d from h i s a c t i o n s by the ever changing demands of g l o b a l u t i l i t y maximization. Something l i k e the f o l l o w i n g suggests i t s e l f as the dominant t r a i t of moral c h a r a c t e r i n a Honderich-good man: Being  s u f f i c i e n t l y m a l l e a b l e so as to adapt to  the c o n s t a n t l y changing requirements of  e f f i c i e n t world-wide d i s t r e s s - r e l i e f . I suppose that there i s something admirable about such a c h a r a c t e r , but a l s o a good d e a l that i s u n a t t r a c t i v e and even loathesome. A man with such a c h a r a c t e r c o u l d never be regarded as a good f r i e n d , f a t h e r , husband, c o l l e a g u e , or c i t i z e n , f By n o t i n g that AU i d e a l i s m i s incompatible with an agent being a good f r i e n d , f a t h e r or c o l l e a g u e , Cooper h i g h l i g h t s a f u r t h e r aspect of AU's at t a c k on i n t e g r i t y . J u s t as perso n a l i d e n t i t y (and thereby p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y ) i s founded p a r t l y i n ground p r o j e c t s and commitments to causes, so a l s o i t i s founded and d i s c o v e r e d i n p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s . Part of what makes George the person' that he i s may be h i s r e j e c t i o n of c e r t a i n means of warfare; another e s s e n t i a l p a r t of h i s p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y may r e s t i n h i s per s o n a l r e l a t i o n s with f a m i l y and f r i e n d s . These a l s o are threatened by AU. Personal commitments to f a m i l y and f r i e n d s can only extend as f a r as they serve to maximize u t i l i t y from an t C o o p e r d ) : pp. 526-527. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 172 impersonal p e r s p e c t i v e . So, f o r example, i f a d i v o r c e d f a t h e r can produce more u t i l i t y on the weekends by becoming a Big Brother and t o t a l l y n e g l e c t i n g h i s ten year o l d son, then he should do so, even i f t h i s means that he never gets to see h i s own son.f Such a t h r e a t to p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s c o n s t i t u t e s another way that AU a t t a c k s p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y through a t t a c k i n g p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y . E.R. Winkler e x p l i c i t y notes the r o l e that personal r e l a t i o n s may p l a y i n the f o r m u l a t i o n of an agent's personal i d e n t i t y . For many people, though not a l l , r e l a t i o n s of emotional involvement and commitment and love f o r a spouse, c h i l d , f r i e n d are i m p o r t a n t l y c o n s t i t u t i v e of t h e i r s e l f - c o n c e p t i o n s , of t h e i r sense of t h e i r own i d e n t i t y , and of t h e i r sense of the d e f i n i n g v a l u e s f o r which they l i v e . A c c o r d i n g l y , f o r many, t h i s sense of the s e l f - c o n s t i t u t i v e i n t e r n a l i t y of r e l a t i o n s with i n t i m a t e others c o n t r i b u t e s e s s e n t i a l l y to the ideas and c o n s t r u c t i o n s they compose of the meaning and s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h e i r l i v e s , t T h i s account of a c e n t r a l aspect of p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y seems c o r r e c t , as f a r as i t goes, and i t stands i n c o n f l i c t with the only sense of i d e n t i t y t h a t can s u r v i v e w i t h i n AU. AU only permits an understanding of the agent i n terms of being a c o n t i n u i n g s u b j e c t of e x p e r i e n c e s . Thus, AU p r o v i d e s an account of o b l i g a t i o n which i s compatible with c o n t i n u i n g to t Tom Patton suggested t h i s example. $ W i n k l e r ( 1 ) : p. 275. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 173 be the same s e n t i e n t being but not the same person i n the f u l l sense of the term.f Thus, W i l l i a m s , Cooper and Winkler express r e l a t e d concerns. AU f a i l s to allow an agent to become and remain a f u l l y i d e n t i f i e d person (or at l e a s t the same person). W i l l i a m s makes the p o i n t by emphasizing the r o l e of p r o j e c t s and commitments in e s t a b l i s h i n g an agent's p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y . Cooper and Winkler make a s i m i l a r p o i n t but emphasize the r o l e played by r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n an agent's p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y . E s s e n t i a l l y the c r i t i c i s m i s that AU i s a c c e p t a b l e - - a s a theory that p r o v i d e s an i d e a l that i s worthy of r e a l i z a t i o n — o n l y on the c o n d i t i o n that the p e r s o n a l s e l f i s l a r g e l y abandoned. Through i t s d e f i n i t i o n of ' r i g h t a c t i o n ' , AU r e c a s t s the agent as a u t i l i t y conductor and maximizer, which r a d i c a l l y t h r e a t e n s any conception of a p e r s o n a l s e l f . And by t h r e a t e n i n g the agent's p e r s o n a l s e l f , AU ipso f a c t o t h r e a t e n s the i n t e g r i t y of the person. AU i d e a l i s m can even be imagined to t h r e a t e n the idea of the moral agent as autonomous and s e l f - d i r e c t e d . Cooper a g a i n : t The d i s t i n c t i o n between ' s e n t i e n t being' and 'person' can be more f u l l y a r t i c u l a t e d i n v a r i o u s ways. Derek P a r f i t c a ptures i t with h i s a n a l y s i s of p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y in p u r e l y q u a l i t a t i v e terms. See P a r f i t ( l ) : p a r t t h r e e . A l a s d a i r Maclntyre's p o r t r a y a l of a person's l i f e as c o n s t i t u t e d w i t h i n a n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e , c e r t a i n elements of which are e s s e n t i a l or c e n t r a l , p r o v i d e s another way of e x p r e s s i n g the d i s t i n c t i o n . See MacIntyre(1): chapter 15. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 174 One might wonder whether i t would be c o r r e c t to say of a m a l l e a b l e man that he leads h i s l i f e . I f he i s an o r d i n a r y human being, he i s not going to be able to grasp the p e r t i n e n t f a c t s and make the necessary c a l c u l a t i o n s of p r o b a b i l i t i e s ; bear in mind that the r e l e v a n t p e r s p e c t i v e i s worldwide. Perhaps a committee of experts might do these t h i n g s . Then a Honderich-good man would be one whose l i f e would e f f e c t i v e l y be l e d by them, by t h e i r d e c i s i o n s about how he might best f a c i l i t a t e u n i v e r s a l w e l l - b e i n g . T h i s i s a l i f e that we, or most of us, would recognize as not worth l i v i n g . I am not denying that there i s a p l a c e i n our l i v e s f o r the p e r s p e c t i v e of the d i s t r e s s - r e d u c e r . What i s o b j e c t i o n a b l e i s i t s t o t a l domination of moral t h i n k i n g , f Cooper r a i s e s an important p o i n t i n the suggestion that what i s o b j e c t i o n a b l e about u t i l i t y maximization ( i . e . , the d i s t r e s s r e d u c t i o n p e r s p e c t i v e ) i s i t s t o t a l domination of moral t h i n k i n g . C l e a r l y , as Singer acknowledges, the AU p e r s p e c t i v e cannot be the s o l e p e r s p e c t i v e from which an agent makes a l l d e c i s i o n s r e g a r d i n g a c t i o n . Other p o i n t s of view are necessary. How are these other p e r s p e c t i v e s to be understood i n terms of m o r a l i t y and p r a c t i c a l reason? T h i s q u e s t i o n p e r t a i n s d i r e c t l y to the i s s u e of the supremacy of m o r a l i t y i n p r a c t i c a l reason. f Cooper(1): p. 527. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 175 C. AU AND THE SUPREMACY OF MORALITY The i s s u e of the supremacy of m o r a l i t y i n p r a c t i c a l reason concerns the r o l e that m o r a l i t y does or should p l a y with r e s p e c t to a c t i o n . Acknowledging the p r a c t i c a l i m p o s s i b i l t y of an agent's d e l i b e r a t i o n s concerning a c t i o n being governed s o l e l y by moral c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , the q u e s t i o n remains as to the proper understanding of the r e l a t i o n between m o r a l i t y and a c t i o n at the t h e o r e t i c a l l e v e l . In sh o r t , what place does the concept of m o r a l i t y have w i t h i n the s t r u c t u r e of p r a c t i c a l reason i n general? In l i g h t of the f o r e g o i n g c o n c l u s i o n t h a t , i n any event, AU s a i n t l i n e s s i s not a l t o g e t h e r d e s i r a b l e there would appear to be two p o s s i b i l i t i e s concerning AU and the supremacy q u e s t i o n . M o r a l i t y may be h e l d to be supreme i n p r a c t i c a l reason i f AU i s denied the s t a t u s of the moral i d e a l . A l t e r n a t i v e l y , AU can be h e l d out as the moral i d e a l i f m o r a l i t y i s not taken as supreme i n p r a c t i c a l reason. The f i r s t p o s s i b i l i t y i n v o l v e s the d e n i a l that AU i s the moral i d e a l , while m a i n t a i n i n g the supremacy of m o r a l i t y f o r p r a c t i c a l reason. The r a t i o n a l e f o r such a d e n i a l may r e s t i n the f a c t that AU f a i l s to allow the agent a f u l l , well-rounded personal l i f e , together with the bedrock i n s i s t a n c e that any adequate moral theory must allow the agent to have such a l i f e . t But, of course, t h i s view i s t W i l l i a m s , Cooper and Winkler advance c o n s i d e r a t i o n s which are i n the s p i r i t of t h i s c o n s t r u a l of the r e l a t i o n between AU and I n t e g r i t y / 176 tantamount to abandoning AU as a general normative theory. AU f a i l s to p r o v i d e the c o r r e c t account of o b l i g a t i o n , and u t i l i t y becomes one c o n s i d e r a t i o n among others i n moral reasoning. Taking m o r a l i t y to be supreme i n p r a c t i c a l reason, while denying AU the p o s i t i o n of moral i d e a l , i s to endorse a view which i s incompatible with the AU account of o b l i g a t i o n . So, o b v i o u s l y , the f i r s t p o s s i b i l i t y i s c l o s e d to a proponent of AU. A l t e r n a t i v e l y , one c o u l d take AU as the moral i d e a l but deny that m o r a l i t y i s supreme i n p r a c t i c a l reason. The r a t i o n a l e f o r t h i s view would appeal to a need to balance the moral i d e a l a g a i n s t other v a l u a b l e a s p e c t s of being 'human'.f S t r i c t l y speaking, a proponent of the AU account of o b l i g a t i o n can c o n s i s t e n t l y adopt t h i s a l t e r n a t i v e . However, while c o n s i s t e n t , such a move i s not a t t r a c t i v e . Proponents of AU have g e n e r a l l y accepted, at l e a s t i m p l i c i t l y , that m o r a l i t y i s supreme in p r a c t i c a l reason. Though the AU d e f i n i t i o n of o b l i g a t i o n does not i n i t s e l f e n t a i l the supremacy of m o r a l i t y — e n t a i l m e n t r e q u i r e s the f u r t h e r premise that i t i s o v e r a l l best always to do what one morally ought to d o - - r e j e c t i o n of t h i s d o c t r i n e runs f ( c o n t ' d ) m o r a l i t y and p r a c t i c a l reason. M o r a l i t y i t s e l f i s too r i c h a phenomenon to be captured and expressed by AU c o n s i d e r a t i o n s alone. f Given her remarks about moral s a i n t s and what i s necessary f o r a h e a l t h y , well-rounded c h a r a c t e r , there i s reason to take Wolf as a c c e p t i n g , at l e a s t i m p l i c i t l y , t h i s understanding of the r e l a t i o n between m o r a l i t y and p r a c t i c a l reason. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 177 d i r e c t l y counter to the h i s t o r i c a l and modern e x p r e s s i o n and defense of-AU. In other words, i f i t i s granted that AU moral s a i n t l i n e s s i s u n d e s i r a b l e , then a proponent of AU can preserve the AU account of o b l i g a t i o n as the proper a n a l y s i s of what i t means to be moral but only at the c o s t of acknowledging that people are b e t t e r o f f being only p a r t l y moral. Adoption of t h i s a l t e r n a t i v e commits AU to the p o s i t i o n that i t i s not a l t o g e t h e r best to be f u l l y moral, s i n c e i t i s not o v e r a l l best f o r an agent to be e x c l u s i v e l y concerned with doing what i s morally r i g h t . The AU account of o b l i g a t i o n i s preserved only by r e l i n q u i s h i n g the fundamental s t a t u s that proponents of AU have u s u a l l y a s c r i b e d to m o r a l i t y and thus by s u b o r d i n a t i n g m o r a l i t y ' s p l a c e i n p r a c t i c a l reason. And t h i s s u b o r d i n a t i o n i s not a p r a c t i c a l concession to human moral f r a i l t y but i s r a t h e r a t h e o r e t i c a l concession that l i m i t s the a u t h o r i t y of m o r a l i t y in p r a c t i c a l reason. Thus, n e i t h e r a l t e r n a t i v e i s r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e to a proponent of the AU account of o b l i g a t i o n . The former i s i n c o n s i s t e n t with the AU account, while the l a t t e r , though c o n s i s t e n t with AU i t s e l f , l i m i t s the t h e o r e t i c a l i n f l u e n c e of m o r a l i t y i n a way that runs d i r e c t l y counter to the general s p i r i t of AU. AU t y p i c a l l y i n v o l v e s t a k i n g m o r a l i t y as supreme i n p r a c t i c a l reason and re g a r d i n g AU as the moral i d e a l . T h i s has s e r i o u s r a m i f i c a t i o n s f o r moral agents. Besides the AU and I n t e g r i t y / 178 i m p o s s i b i l i t y of a person f u l f i l l i n g her o b l i g a t i o n s when they are so understood, t h i s p l a c e s the very personhood of the agent i n jeopardy. There i s something r a d i c a l l y wrong with an account of o b l i g a t i o n which i s incompatible with the c o n t i n u i n g e x i s t e n c e of the person f o r whose use i t i s advanced. The f o r c e of t h i s c r i t i c i s m of AU needs to be a p p r e c i a t e d . I t i s i r r e l e v a n t that the i d e a l AU agent i s u n r e a l i z e a b l e i n p r a c t i c e (at l e a s t by most people) because the argument a g a i n s t AU concerns what would be d e s i r a b l e independently of p r a c t i c a l o b s t a c l e s . Again, Singer p e r c e i v e s i t to be a t r a g i c f e a t u r e of people that they are not i d e a l AU agents and b e l i e v e s that a world i n which agents r e a l i z e d the AU i d e a l would be a much b e t t e r world. The f o r c e of the argument a g a i n s t AU o b l i g a t i o n i s to c h a l l e n g e the l a t t e r p o i n t . AU o b l i g a t i o n , i f r e a l i z e d , would cost us too much. Thus, i f people meeting t h e i r moral o b l i g a t i o n s i s to remain something that i s completely worthy of r e a l i z a t i o n , moral o b l i g a t i o n cannot be what AU p o r t r a y s i t to be. D . A D I L E M M A : U N A T T R A C T I V E N E S S O R D I S H A R M O N Y ? As we have a l r e a d y seen, the AU agent d i v e r g e s r a d i c a l l y from what normally i s deemed p e r s o n a l l y admirable. Such an agent i s not, f o r example, someone who would be w i l l i n g to s a c r i f i c e f o r h i s ' f r i e n d s ' . Given a normal AU and I n t e g r i t y / 179 understanding of what i s i n v o l v e d i n f r i e n d s h i p , the s u c c e s s f u l AU agent has no f r i e n d s . F r i e n d s h i p s , l i k e ground p r o j e c t s and commitments, do not s u r v i v e i n the i m p a r t i a l p e r s p e c t i v e of AU. Winkler i l l u s t r a t e s the extent to which the contours of a l i f e understood i n terms of AU agency are a l i e n to most of us. For example, AU r e q u i r e s r e j e c t i n g the l e g i t i m a c y of the commonly p e r c e i v e d connection between a p e r s o n a l s a c r i f i c e and the meaning of a p e r s o n a l l i f e . The u t i l i t a r i a n i d e a l seems to leave completely out of account any set of s i g n i f i c a n t connections between the agent's s e l f - c o n c e p t i o n and the sense of the meaning of h i s or her l i f e and the outcome secured by an a c t i o n of s a c r i f i c e . When, f o r example, one t h i n k s of the hackneyed example of the s o l d i e r who throws h i m s e l f on a grenade to save the l i v e s of other s o l d i e r s i t i s the connection of a shared cause and s t r u g g l e and purpose that recommends i t s s t a t u r e as an e x p r e s s i o n of heroism. Compare a f o r e i g n correspondent, r e p o r t i n g on a g u e r r i l a war i n A f g h a n i s t a n , who would throw himself on any grenade that was surrounded by any three or more s o l d i e r s from any s i d e . T h i s would no doubt be i n t e r e s t i n g , but q u e s t i o n a b l y i d e a l . t The f o r e i g n correspondent's a c t i o n would cause more bewilderment than a d m i r a t i o n . I t would be d i f f i c u l t not to be s k e p t i c a l about the p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l - b e i n g of an agent who was so t o t a l l y dominated by the i m p a r t i a l p o i n t of view. But i t i s t h i s domination that AU holds up as the moral t W i n k l e r ( 1 ) : p. 281 . AU and I n t e g r i t y / 180 i d e a l . Winkler expresses s k e p t i c i s m about such domination by the i m p a r t i a l p e r s p e c t i v e . He suggests that the AU i d e a l of an agent always a c t i n g from the i m p a r t i a l p e r s p e c t i v e has a s e r i o u s p r i c e attached to i t . ... a commonly shared i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n of t h i s 'moral i d e a l ' would n e c e s s a r i l y generate a d e p r e c i a t i o n of the v a r i e t y of p e r s o n a l moral i d e a l s which can be e q u a l l y r a t i o n a l , while i n v o l v i n g very d i f f e r e n t a d j u d i c a t i o n s of the t e n s i o n between p e r s o n a l and l i m i t e d commitments and a general humanitarian concern. In t h i s way, the general success of the u t i l i t a r i a n i d e a l would i n v o l v e an impoverishment of the human drama.f The f u l l 'human drama' r e q u i r e s f r i e n d s h i p s , commitments to causes and a d i v e r s i t y of p e r s o n a l i d e a l s . A l l of these are l o s t in AU i d e a l i s m . AU has been c r i t i c i z e d on the grounds that i t l e a v e s no p l a c e f o r the i n d i v i d u a l , as an i n d i v i d u a l . The i n d i v i d u a l i s construed simply as a "mere r e c e p t a c l e " f o r u t i l i t y and d i s u t i l i t y . $ I t i s i n t h i s way that AU turns the agent i n t o nothing more than a u t i l i t y producer and conductor. T h i s way of viewing the i n d i v i d u a l ignores the value of the agent as a d i s t i n c t person. But the human drama r e q u i r e s persons and not simply u t i l i t y r e c e p t a c l e s . Issues concerning the a d m i r a b i l i t y of the agent who a c t s i n accordance with AU perhaps are captured more t W i n k l e r ( 1 ) : p. 282. i Regan uses t h i s terminology, and he a t t r i b u t e s i t to S i n g e r . For a c r i t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n of AU g e n e r a l l y , and Singer's views in p a r t i c u l a r , see Regan(3): chapter 6. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 181 p r e c i s e l y i n terms of the agent who a c t s from AU. The bewilderment i n the case of the f o r e i g n correspondent l i e s l e s s i n the what of h i s a c t i o n than i n the why of h i s a c t i o n . f D e s c r i b i n g the a c t i o n as from AU captures the why aspect by c l a r i f y i n g that the f o r e i g n correspondent's m o t i v a t i o n r e l a t e s d i r e c t l y to AU c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . Emphasizing that the agent's primary motive i s u t i l i t a r i a n o nly serves to open the q u e s t i o n of the a d m i r a b i l i t y of the agent to f u r t h e r doubt. Assuming the f o r e i g n correspondent i s a c t i n g from AU makes i t d i f f i c u l t to imagine that he a t t r i b u t e s any value to h i s l i f e (or to the persons whose l i v e s he s a v e s ) . And anyone who a t t r i b u t e s no value to h i s own l i f e or to the l i v e s of people g e n e r a l l y i s not an agent worthy of a d m i r a t i o n . I t i s the value that the s o l d i e r a t t r i b u t e s to the persons of h i s comrades (as expressed i n p r o j e c t s and commitments that the s o l d i e r shares) that makes h i s s a c r i f i c e admirable. The f o r e i g n correpondent a t t r i b u t e s no value to i n d i v i d u a l persons but only to i n d i v i d u a l a b s t r a c t i o n s . Concerns about AU and a d m i r a b i l i t y are not r e s t r i c t e d to the i d e a l AU agent's lack of p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y and thereby l a c k of a d m i r a b i l t y . Cases may a r i s e i n which i t i s f One can imagine people who b e l i e v e that they w i l l go to heaven i f they d i e f o r any three people. Concerns about someone a c t i n g from t h i s motive would be q u i t e d i f f e r e n t than those i n v o l v i n g the f o r e i g n correspondent. But both a c t i o n s s t i l l might be i n accordance with AU. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 182 reasonable to assume that the agent values her l i f e and i n which her primary motive p r e c i s e l y i s to produce what turns out to be the optimal s t a t e of a f f a i r s , and yet t h i s very i n t e n t i o n can reduce sympathy and a d m i r a b i l i t y . Consider a martyr f o r an a p p a r e n t l y l o s t cause. Such an i n d i v i d u a l may be admired because of the q u a l i t y of her commitment, d e s p i t e the apparent hopelessness of the cause. I t i s the commitment to the i d e a l , come what may, which p r o v i d e s the b a s i s f o r a d m i r a t i o n . And, c r u c i a l l y , i t may become d i f f i c u l t , perhaps im p o s s i b l e , to maintain t h i s admiration i f one a t t r i b u t e s c e r t a i n u t i l i t a r i a n motives to her a c t i o n s . I f the primary i n t e n t i o n behind the a c t i o n s of a martyr i n a l o s t cause i s to become a famous and t r a g i c hero, the s u b j e c t of folksongs and legends and a focus of i n s p i r a t i o n f o r others a f t e r her death, then admiration i s s e r i o u s l y compromised. The a d m i r a t i o n i s c a l l e d f o r t h by the i n d i v i d u a l ' s commitment, d e s p i t e the hopelessness, and i t i s incompatible with a dominant and s e l f - c o n s c i o u s motive to enhance f u t u r e u t i l i t y by s e r v i n g as a h e r o i c symbol around which people w i l l g ather. Recognizing t h i s aspect of a d m i r a b i l i t y r a i s e s a f u r t h e r concern about the t e n a b i l i t y of AU. There i s something s e r i o u s l y wrong with a theory of r i g h t a c t i o n which al l o w s f o r i n s t a n c e s i n which one cannot f u l l y i n t e n d to act r i g h t l y (within the terms of the t h e o r y ) , without AU and I n t e g r i t y / 183 that i n t e n t i o n d i m i n i s h i n g the a d m i r a b i l i t y of the agent. Since a d m i r a b i l i t y can be incompatible with an agent's d i r e c t l y i n t e n d i n g what i s supposed u l t i m a t e l y to save the a c t i o n in~ AU terms, t h i s becomes another i l l u s t r a t i o n of how AU thre a t e n s i n t e g r i t y . The AU agent's i n t e g r i t y i s threatened by AU's t h r e a t to the personhood of the agent. And the AU agent who a c t s from AU may o f t e n f a i l to be a proper o b j e c t of ad m i r a t i o n , s i n c e such agency i s incompatible with a genuine commitment to anything other than u t i l i t y maximization. And the p o s s i b i l i t y of such commitments seems a p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r a d m i r a t i o n . Consider, f o r example, the admir a t i o n that i s f e l t f o r Ma r t i n Luther King. M a r t i n Luther King appeals ... not simply because he c o n t r i b u t e d so much to so many. He i n s p i r e s because of the i n t e g r a t i o n between h i s understanding, values and commitments, h i s conception of h i s r o l e i n l i f e , and the nature and focus of h i s commitments, f o r which he pai d f i n a l l y with h i s l i f e . f I f one imagines that King's only commitment was to u t i l i t y maximization from an i m p a r t i a l p e r s p e c t i v e , two th i n g s r e s u l t . The person of King d i s a p p e a r s and there i s nothing l e f t to d i s t i n q u i s h him (as a person) from, f o r example, the f o r e i g n corresponent i n A f g h a n i s t a n . In a d d i t i o n , the grounds that e x i s t e d f o r the admiration of the man a l s o disappear because none of the pe r s o n a l commitments that t W i n k l e r ( 1 ) : p. 282. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 184 d e f i n e King (as King) s u r v i v e i n the AU p e r s p e c t i v e . So, i f one r e c a s t s King as an i d e a l AU agent, the person and thereby the reasons f o r admiration disappear. Defenders of AU may respond to t h i s c r i t i c i s m by p o i n t i n g out that the c r i t i c i s m seems to r e s t upon p o r t r a y i n g AU as p l a y i n g a d i r e c t r o l e i n how an agent decides to a c t . Many proponents of AU contend that o f t e n the most e f f e c t i v e means of producing optimal s t a t e s of a f f a i r s avoids a d i r e c t a p p l i c a t i o n of AU. Fr e q u e n t l y , that i s , the best way to maximize u t i l i t y i s not by d i r e c t l y t r y i n g to maximize u t i l i t y . Any paradox i n v o l v e d i n t h i s c l a i m i s to be defused through the d i s t i n c t i o n between t a k i n g AU as d e f i n i n g the rightness-making c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a c t i o n s and t a k i n g AU as a decision-making procedure f o r a c t i o n . But t h i s response f a i l s to address the c r i t i c i s m . The c r i t i c i s m i s not that the agent uses AU to decide how to act but rather that he intends the AU r e s u l t . One can in t e n d to maximize u t i l i t y and decide, f o r example, that f o l l o w i n g r u l e (X) i s the best way to achieve that end. But i f a s o l e and dominating i n t e n t i o n t o maximize u t i l i t y can undermine a d m i r a b i l i t y , then an account of r i g h t a c t i o n i n terms of u t i l i t y maximization i s not t e n a b l e . The AU agent i s caught i n a dilemma i n her e f f o r t s to s a t i s f y her o b l i g a t i o n s . On the one hand, the agent who s u c c e s s f u l l y achieves the AU i d e a l i s an agent who has no AU and I n t e g r i t y / 185 deep or demanding p e r s o n a l p r o j e c t s , commitments and r e l a t i o n s . Such an agent has no a b i d i n g p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y as we normally understand i t . Or, on the other hand, as i s more l i k e l y , the agent f a i l s to s a t i s f y her AU o b l i g a t i o n s . As a person, the agent has a l i f e which i n c l u d e s p r o j e c t s and commitments that are incompatible with AU. But as an AU agent, there i s the o b l i g a t i o n to maximize u t i l i t y i n order to f u l f i l l her o b l i g a t i o n s . The d i s c o r d between the 'person' and the 'AU agent' fragments and d i v i d e s the s e l f against-i t s e l f . The p e r s o n a l s e l f i s i n disharmony with the AU agent's o v e r a l l commitment to do what i s r i g h t . Thus, given that i t i s humanly impossible to f u l f i l l her o b l i g a t i o n s as c o n s t r u e d by AU, the AU agent has, of n e c e s s i t y , a d i v i d e d and fragmented s e l f . Assuming i n t e g r i t y i s understood as i n v o l v i n g a wholeness and u n i t y of the s e l f , then AU p r a c t i c a l l y guarantees an a t t a c k on the i n t e g r i t y of the agent. AU e i t h e r a t t a c k s p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y through a t t a c k i n g the personhood of the agent, or i t a t t a c k s p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y by guaranteeing disharmony w i t h i n the agent.t In e i t h e r case there are grounds f o r q u e s t i o n i n g the a d m i r a b i l i t y of the AU agent. I t may be the case that the p o s s i b i l i t y of d i s c o r d t An agent who c a r e s only about maximizing u t i l i t y avoids t h i s dilemma. However, an agent whose only deep ground p r o j e c t i s u t i l i t y maximization from an impersonal p e r s p e c t i v e i s only a person i n the t h i n n e s t and most t r i v i a l sense of personhood. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 186 cannot be a l t o g e t h e r e l i m i n a t e d from the moral l i f e of a pe r s o n a l agent. But, before a c c e p t i n g an account of o b l i g a t i o n which would seem to e n t a i l such a consequence, a f u l l e r d i s c u s s i o n would r e q u i r e determining i f other accounts (which are e q u a l l y p l a u s i b l e ) c o u l d a v o i d , at l e a s t i n p r i n c i p l e , t h i s r e s u l t . However, at present, i t i s worth n o t i n g that the c r i t i c i s m of AU i n terms of the dilemma of e i t h e r a l o s s of p e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s or e l s e fragmentation and d i v i s i o n has an analogue i n v o l v i n g s o c i e t y and community. E. AU AND SOCIETAL INTEGRITY AU t h r e a t e n s p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y in two d i f f e r e n t ways. I t can a t t a c k the person of the agent d i r e c t l y i n that the agent who a c h i e v e s the AU i d e a l l o s e s her personhood i n the proc e s s . T h i s i s because none of the kinds of p r o j e c t s and r e l a t i o n s which would d e f i n e the agent as a d i s t i n c t i n d i v i d u a l can s u r v i v e the c o r r o s i o n of AU demand. An a s s a u l t on p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y a l s o can r e s u l t when the AU agent f a i l s to achieve the AU i d e a l . Now the 'personhood' of the s e l f comes i n t o c o n f l i c t and disharmony with i t s m o r a l i t y . AU threatens s o c i e t a l i n t e g r i t y i n something l i k e the same two ways. E i t h e r AU thr e a t e n s the s o c i e t y d i r e c t l y or i t a t t a c k s the s o c i e t y through c r e a t i n g disharmony and c o n f l i c t among i t s goals and i t s members. There i s some AU and I n t e g r i t y / 187 reason to suspect that the s o c i e t y which a c h i e v e s the AU i d e a l may Lose i t s d i s t i n c t i v e i d e n t i t y i n something l i k e the same way (and f o r s i m i l i a r reasons) that the agent who achieves the AU i d e a l does. Such a s o c i e t y would seem to have no c u l t u r e or c i v i l i z a t i o n which would d e f i n e i t as a d i s t i n c t s o c i e t y any more than the i d e a l AU agent would have p r o j e c t s and r e l a t i o n s which would d e f i n e her as a d i s t i n c t agent. In both i n s t a n c e s , such d e f i n i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s would be subordinate to u t i l i t y maximization c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . f But more imp o r t a n t l y , the fragmentation and d i v i s i o n that AU i n v o l v e s i s not r e s t r i c t e d to the i n d i v i d u a l agent. I t a l s o e x i s t s at the l e v e l of s o c i e t y and community. AU r e q u i r e s d i s h o n e s t y and mani p u l a t i o n on the p a r t of the AU moral agent i n her d e a l i n g s with the other members of her s o c i e t y . Part of the reason f o r t h i s can be brought out by r e c a l l i n g the importance that AU p l a c e s on the d i s t i n c t i o n between the u t i l i t y of the a c t i o n and the u t i l i t y of p r a i s i n g the a c t i o n . P r a i s i n g a person i s thus an important a c t i o n i n i t s e l f - i t has s i g n i f i c a n t t For example, i n the same way that AU c o n s i d e r a t i o n s are the s o l e determining f a c t o r i n whether George should take the job i n the chemical and b i o l o g i c a l warfare l a b o r a t o r y , so u t i l i t y c o n s i d e r a t i o n s are the only concerns, f o r in s t a n c e , i n whether to t e a r down the E i f f e l Tower in order to b u i l d another s t r u c t u r e . No d i r e c t appeals can be made to the p a r t s that a p r i n c i p l e d o b j e c t i o n to warfare and an h i s t o r i c a l monument might play i n d e f i n i n g the d i s t i n c t i v e c h a r a c t e r s of George and P a r i s . AU and I n t e g r i t y / 188 e f f e c t s . A u t i l i t a r i a n must t h e r e f o r e l e a r n to c o n t r o l h i s a c t s of p r a i s e and d i s p r a i s e , thus perhaps c o n c e a l i n g h i s approval of an a c t i o n when he t h i n k s that the e x p r e s s i o n of such approval might have bad e f f e c t s , and perhaps even p r a i s i n g a c t i o n s of which he does not r e a l l y approve, f P u t t i n g a s i d e what e f f e c t such deception has on the i n t e g r i t y of the AU moral agent, what does t h i s deception do to the i n t e r a c t i o n s among the members of s o c i e t y ? AU e n t a i l s fragmentation and d i v i s i o n i n s o c i e t y i n the same way that i t does f o r the i n d i v i d u a l . I t threatens the i n t e g r i t y of the moral community. Some u t i l i t a r i a n s are aware of the p o t e n t i a l problems that a p o s i t i o n i n v o l v i n g such deception and manipulation can i n v o l v e . Singer, f o r example, i s s e n s i t i v e to the need to maintain some l e v e l of s o c i e t a l i n t e g r i t y . Imagine there were no commitment to t e l l i n g the t r u t h , only a commitment to doing what i m p a r t i a l l y advances everyone's i n t e r e s t s . Then i n many s i t u a t i o n s we would not be able to r e l y on i n f o r m a t i o n given to' us: the p a t i e n t awakening from an e x p l o r a t o r y o p e r a t i o n , wanting to know i f a malignant tumor was found; the e l d e r l y woman aski n g her a t h e i s t f a m i l y to give her a r e l i g i o u s f u n e r a l ; the d i s p i r i t e d student r e c e i v i n g a s u r p r i s i n g l y good grade f o r h i s essay. In a l l of these cases, without a commitment to t e l l i n g the t r u t h , the i n f o r m a t i o n , promise, or grade would be as l i k e l y to have been given i n order to make the person i n v o l v e d happier as to have been given because i t i s the t r u t h or r e f l e c t s the t Smart(2): pp. 49-50. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 1 8 9 t r u e i n t e n t i o n s or judgements of the person g i v i n g i t . Once the p a t i e n t , e l d e r l y woman, or student r e a l i z e s t h i s , the communication w i l l f a i l to achieve whatever i t was intended to a c h i e v e , whether t h i s was to make the r e c i p i e n t happier or to communicate t r u t h f u l l y , t T h i s does not r e q u i r e , however, t h a t the t r u t h must be t o l d . In keeping with the s p i r i t of AU, Singer contends that AU may o v e r r i d e such concerns about t r u t h f u l n e s s . T h i s c o n t e n t i o n seems to c r e a t e an i n t e r n a l t e n s i o n w i t h i n AU. In an e f f o r t to remove t h i s p o t e n t i a l t e n s i o n Singer r e l i e s upon Sidgwick's d i s t i n c t i o n between a p r i v a t e and a p u b l i c moral code. Acc o r d i n g to Sidgwick: ... i t may be r i g h t to do and p r i v a t e l y recommend under c e r t a i n circumstances, what i t would not be r i g h t to advocate openly; i t may be c o n c e i v a b l y r i g h t to do, i f i t can be done with comparative secrecy, what i t would be wrong to do i n the face of the world; and even, i f p e r f e c t secrecy can be reasonably expected, what i t would be wrong to recommend by p r i v a t e advice or example.$ Noting that Sidgwick does not p r o v i d e any examples of when t h i s might be a c c e p t a b l e , Singer s u p p l i e s one h i m s e l f . It might be r i g h t f o r a p r o f e s s o r to give a student a h i g h t e r grade than h i s work m e r i t s , on the grounds that the student i s so depressed over h i s work that one more poor grade w i l l l e a d him to abandon h i s s t u d i e s a l t o g e t h e r , whereas i f he can p u l l out of h i s d e p r e s s i o n he w i l l be capable of f S i n g e r ( 8 ) : pp. 162-163. i S i d g w i c k ( 2 ) : p. 4 8 9 . AU and I n t e g r i t y / 190 reaching a s a t i s f a c t o r y standard.f Singer's c o n t e n t i o n i s that there i s nothing unacceptable or wrong with such deception and d i s h o n e s t y . The only problem r e s t s i n the acknowledgement that one does such t h i n g s . I t would not, however, be r i g h t f o r a p r o f e s s o r to advocate t h i s p u b l i c l y , s i n c e then the student would know that the higher grade was undeserved and-quite apart from encouraging other students to f e i g n d e p r e s s i o n - t h e higher grade might cheer the student only i f he b e l i e v e s that i t i s merited. That i t may be r i g h t f o r an i n d i v i d u a l to do s e c r e t l y what i t i s a l s o r i g h t f o r the p u b l i c code of e t h i c s to condemn, has an a i r of paradox. The paradox belongs, not to the d o c t r i n e i t s e l f , but to the attempt to s t a t e i t . For s t a t i n g t h i s view jj> s t a t i n g i t p u b l i c l y , and thus i s subversive of the p u b l i c code of e t h i c s which the same d o c t r i n e says we should support. $ There c e r t a i n l y may be i n s t a n c e s when dishonesty and deception are c a l l e d f o r and perhaps are even morally r e q u i r e d . Honesty i s not an o v e r r i d i n g v i r t u e . But there i s something i m p l a u s i b l e about AU's c o n s t r u a l of the dynamic between an agent's p r i v a t e and p u b l i c moral codes. On S i n g e r ' s account, AU a c t u a l l y guarantees d i s h o n e s t y because the AU agent p u b l i c l y must support v a r i o u s norms which he p r i v a t e l y must be prepared to v i o l a t e . Moreover, he cannot even s t a t e the t r u t h without undermining the f i c t i o n s that he i s committed to uphold ( i n l i g h t of the f a c t that such t Singer (8) : p. l"66. Singer(8) : p. 166. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 191 f i c t i o n s are l i a b l e to produce the best r e s u l t s ) . But then t h i s makes AU ' m o r a l i t y ' n e c e s s a r i l y u n s t a t a b l e i n f u l l . And furthermore, s i n c e i n these a s p e c t s i t i s not p u b l i c l y s t a t a b l e , i t i s not t e a c h a b l e . A p u b l i c m o r a l i t y which i s unteachable and u n s t a t a b l e (without undermining i t s own ends) i s i m p l a u s i b l e at i t s best and incoherent at i t s worst. The s i t u a t i o n i s a c t u a l l y more p a r a d o x i c a l than i s suggested by a p u b l i c moral code which i s u n s t a t a b l e and unteachable. A proponent of AU wants everyone e l s e to be committed to AU as w e l l . However, in order to maintain the s o c i a l advantages of a g e n e r a l r e l i a n c e of t r u t h - t e l l i n g , he and every other AU agent must p r o f e s s a l l e g i a n c e to t r u t h - t e l l i n g to a degree c o n s i d e r a b l y beyond what he and they are prepared to honour in p r a c t i c e . T h i s e n s h r i n e s a kind of u n i v e r s a l h y p o c r i s y . But, more i m p o r t a n t l y , i f h i s general d e s i r e that everyone be committed to AU i s r e a l i z e d in a way that allows each agent to recognize and know that the others are so committed, then the h y p o c r i s y cannot p o s s i b l y work. The common knowledge that s o c i e t y i s l a r g e l y composed of agents who are committed to AU w i l l mean that no one w i l l b e l i e v e anyone e l s e ' s e x p r e s s i o n s of approval f o r t r u t h - t e l l i n g - r e g a r d l e s s - o f - u t i l i t y . So i n wanting both to r e t a i n the advantages of a g e n e r a l s o c i a l r e l i a n c e on t r u t h - t e l l i n g , and the c o n v e r s i o n of everyone to AU, the AU and I n t e g r i t y / 192 convers i o n must occur i n a profoundly p a r a d o x i c a l form. For the most p a r t , each AU agent must not recognize that others are committed to AU. That i s , each agent must not recognize the moral i d e n t i t y of the o t h e r s . Everyone i s committed to AU but t h i s must remain l a r g e l y unrecognized and unknown to the members of such a moral community. Otherwise, everyone w i l l know th a t everyone e l s e ' s p u b l i c advocacy and approval of g e n e r a l i z e d t r u t h - t e l l i n g i s h y p o c r i t i c a l and thereby the advantages of r e l i a n c e on t h i s d i s p o s i t i o n w i l l be l o s t . There i s something extremely i m p l a u s i b l e and p a r a d o x i c a l about a m o r a l i t y which cannot be s u c c e s s f u l l y adopted in a way that a l l o w s mutual r e c o g n i t i o n of one anothers' moral i d e n t i t y . Furthermore, what e x a c t l y i s i t to want everyone to be committed to AU but i n a way that excludes mutual r e c o g n i t i o n of t h i s shared moral i d e n t i t y ? I t i s to want everyone to be one t h i n g but to s u c c e s s f u l l y look l i k e something e l s e . t Such a d e s i r e seems to mock the very idea of a p u b l i c m o r a l i t y . One fundamental d i f f i c u l t y with such a pr o p o s a l i s captured with r e f e r e n c e to ' i n t e g r i t y ' . J u s t as p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y i n v o l v e s a harmony, wholeness and u n i t y of the s e l f , s o c i e t a l i n t e g r i t y i n v o l v e s something analogous. For a s o c i a l m o r a l i t y to encompass the analogue of p e r s o n a l t Besides the i m p l a u s i b l e and p a r a d o x i c a l nature of such a p o r t r a y a l of s o c i a l m o r a l i t y , i t a l s o simply might be e a s i e r to l e t people be the something e l s e , p a r t i c u l a r l y given the t r u t h i n the adage that we are what we pretend to be. AU and I n t e g r i t y / 193 i n t e g r i t y , s o c i a l m o r a l i t y should at l e a s t be such that i t c o u l d be shared by a l l members of the moral community, each r e c o g n i z i n g the b a s i c moral p r i n c i p l e s and d i s p o s i t i o n s of the o t h e r s , and a l l being b e t t e r o f f through c o o p e r a t i o n i n support of these shared norms and v a l u e s . AU simply cannot be a s o c i a l m o r a l i t y i n t h i s sense, s i n c e i t cannot e f f e c t i v e l y achieve i t s end i n l i g h t of mutual r e c o g n i t i o n of i t s acceptance and a d o p t i o n . Singer wants everyone to be committed to AU. But a l l (or at l e a s t most) people must be committed s e c r e t l y or the s o c i a l advantages of being able to r e l y on people g e n e r a l l y adhering to c e r t a i n b a s i c norms w i l l be l o s t . AU as a p u b l i c m o r a l i t y t h e r e f o r e i s not p u b l i c l y s t a t a b l e or teachable; and even i f the goal of u n i v e r s a l c o n v e r s i o n to AU were somehow to be r e a l i z e d , i t s success would remain con t i n g e n t upon the co n v e r s i o n remaining g e n e r a l l y unknown. A l l t h i s f l i e s i n the face of any p o r t r a y a l of p u b l i c m o r a l i t y i n v o l v i n g s o c i e t a l i n t e g r i t y , as r e a l i z e d i n the harmonious, mutual r e c o g n i t i o n of shared norms and v a l u e s . While i t may not be i n c o n s i s t e n t to champion AU as the theory of the best moral order f o r s o c i e t y , i t c e r t a i n l y i s at odds with s e v e r a l f e a t u r e s of the normal idea of s o c i a l m o r a l i t y . With res p e c t to both the i n d i v i d u a l agent and s o c i e t y , AU seems to guarantee e i t h e r the e x t i n c t i o n of the d i s t i n c t i v e elements that c h a r a c t e r i z e agent and s o c i e t y , AU and I n t e g r i t y / 194 or, as i s more l i k e l y , a disharmony that t h r e a t e n s the i n t e g r i t y of agent and s o c i e t y . Even a l l o w i n g that the p o s s i b i l i t y of some d i s c o r d i n both agent and s o c i e t y may be unavoidable, the f a c t that AU seems to e n t a i l such a disharmony opens the account of o b l i g a t i o n to q u e s t i o n . There i s something unacceptable about a moral theory which leaves i t s adherents e i t h e r destroyed or fragmented as i n d i v i d u a l s and at the same time committed to some degree of decepti o n and h y p o c r i s y i n the support of f a m i l i a r moral norms. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION Singer, in a d i s c u s s i o n of AU and p o s s i b l e a l t e r n a t i v e accounts of r i g h t a c t i o n , says the f o l l o w i n g : The u t i l i t a r i a n p o s i t i o n i s a minimal one, a f i r s t base which we reach by u n i v e r s a l i z i n g s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d d e c i s i o n making. We cannot, i f we are to think e t h i c a l l y , r e f u s e to take t h i s s t e p . If we are to be persuaded that we should go beyond u t i l i t a r i a n i s m and accept n o n - u t i l i t a r i a n moral r u l e s or i d e a l s , we need to be pro v i d e d with good reasons f o r t a k i n g t h i s f u r t h e r step. U n t i l such reasons are produced, we have some grounds f o r remaining u t i l i t a r i a n s , f Gra n t i n g Singer that AU p r o v i d e s a s t a r t i n g p o i n t , the is s u e then becomes what would c o n s t i t u t e a good reason f o r t a k i n g any f u r t h e r step beyond AU. One n a t u r a l response i s c o n t r o v e r s i a l — t h e s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d c l a i m t h a t there are ins t a n c e s i n which AU g i v e s the 'wrong' answer. S a r t o r i u s d i s m i s s e s f a m i l i a r counterexamples as " u n p r i n c i p l e d p o t s h o t s " , while Singer proposes that " o r d i n a r y moral c o n v i c t i o n s " always should be subordinate to AU.$ In both cases, such p r o p o s a l s r e s t upon acceptance of the method of moral geometry. Such a methodology i s not a c c e p t a b l e , and i n t u i t i o n s ( i n the sense of ' r e f l e c t i v e judgements') are necessary i n a s s e s s i n g moral t h e o r i e s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , S a r t o r i u s ' p o i n t about ' u n p r i n c i p l e d potshots' i s an important one, and i t must be allowed c o n s i d e r a b l e f o r c e . t S i n g e r ( 6 ) : p. i~3. i See S a r t o r i u s ( 1 ) : p. 33 and S i n g e r ( 2 ) : p. 94. 195 / 196 E f f e c t i v e o b j e c t i o n s t o AU must be ' p r i n c i p l e d o b j e c t i o n s ' . E s s e n t i a l l y , the o b j e c t i o n s r a i s e d with respect to AU i n t h i s work have r e v o l v e d around one fundamental concern that any moral theory must be able to address: s i n c e m o r a l i t y i s  fo r persons, persons should be able to use m o r a l i t y . The AU account of r i g h t a c t i o n i n terms of a c t u a l consequences f r e q u e n t l y leaves the r i g h t a c t i o n r a d i c a l l y unknowable. And furthermore, even when i n p r i n c i p l e knowable, i t often i s unreasonable to expect the agent to possess, or expend the e f f o r t necessary to a c q u i r e , that knowledge. What t h i s suggests i s that AU misses the whole p o i n t of m o r a l i t y . M o r a l i t y i s an important s o c i a l instrument i n v o l v i n g a broad purpose, and c l a s s i f y i n g an a c t i o n as wrong needs to be i n keeping with that purpose. AU f a i l s to f u l f i l l t h i s requirement. The heavy use, moreover, of the d i s t i n c t i o n s among agent, a c t i o n and motive, and between the u t i l i t y of the a c t i o n and the u t i l i t y of p r a i s i n g the a c t i o n , does not blunt t h i s c r i t i c i s m of AU. That i s , c l a s s i f y i n g a c t i o n s as m o r a l l y wrong that do not i n v o l v e any s o r t of f a i l i n g and that a c t u a l l y are to be s o c i a l l y encouraged runs counter to the i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t aspect of moral c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , and leaves m o r a l i t y without p r a c t i c a l r e l e v a n c e . A d d i t i o n a l p r a c t i c a l concerns s u r f a c e i n r e l a t i o n t o the charge t h a t AU i s s e l f - d e f e a t i n g . While i t does not seem / 197 that AU i s s t r i c t l y s e l f - d e f e a t i n g , AU's response to t h i s charge l e a v e s i t open to q u e s t i o n i n other ways. I t i s not c l e a r to what extent AU permits i t s agents to cooperate with one another to achieve common b e n e f i t . The AU agent w i l l o f t e n a c t u a l l y have reason not to conform t o general r u l e s d e f i n i n g systems of c o o p e r a t i o n u n t i l the frequency of nonconformity begins to th r e a t e n the system i t s e l f . That i s , AU a c t u a l l y r e q u i r e s a kind of 'brinkmanship' with f a m i l i a r moral norms. N e i t h e r Singer nor Hare p r o v i d e an adequate response to the danger t h i s can pose to the s o c i a l values these norms p r o t e c t Bales' use of the d i s t i n c t i o n between AU as o f f e r i n g a rightness-making c h a r a c t e r i s t i c and AU as p r o v i d i n g a decision-making procedure, to counter p o s s i b l e concerns p e r t a i n i n g to AU and s e l f - d e f e a t i n g n e s s , only serves on examination to emphasize that AU i s supposed to be a p r a c t i c a l theory. But then the c o n s i d e r a t i o n of AU i n the face of famine and poverty h i g h l i g h t s the f a c t that AU i s of t e n extremely indeterminate with respect to p r a c t i c a l reason. T h i s s e r i o u s l y undermines one supposed s t r e n g t h of AU. At the t h e o r e t i c a l l e v e l AU imposes no l i m i t on o b l i g a t i o n as long as more good f o r others o f f s e t s the cost to o n e s e l f . Part of the e x p l a n a t i o n of t h i s c l a s h between AU and the common moral outlook d e r i v e s from AU's being too / 198 impoverished i n terms of b a s i c v a l u e s , s i n c e AU subordinates a l l values to u t i l i t y . So, f o r example, any p o s s i b l e appeals to values l i k e f a i r n e s s must subordinate f a i r n e s s to u t i l i t y . It i s because AU p l a c e s no l i m i t s on the extent to which u t i l i t y counts, and because i t does not allow appeals to anything other than u t i l i t y , that the agent's o b l i g a t i o n s extend f a r beyond commonly recog n i z e d l i m i t s . The ' r e i t e r a t i v e ' argument i l l u s t r a t e s the extent of AU o b l i g a t i o n s . Thus, the only r e l i e f from the o b l i g a t i o n to c o n t r i b u t e to famine r e l i e f , or other such programs, l i e s i n i t becoming c o u n t e r p r o d u c t i v e i n terms of u t i l i t y maximization. T h i s leaves AU impossibly demanding. So demanding i n f a c t as to t h r e a t e n the p r e s e r v a t i o n of p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y as we normally understand i t . The AU agent e i t h e r s a t i s f i e s or f a i l s t o s a t i s f y her moral o b l i g a t i o n s . On the one hand, i f the agent succeeds, then the agent's personal i n t e g r i t y i s threatened because the 'person' of the agent i s p l a c e d i n jeopardy. T h i s occurs because of the way an agent's s e l f - i d e n t i f y i n g ground p r o j e c t s and commitments are undermined by the c o r r o s i v e e f f e c t s of AU demand. I t i s even u n c e r t a i n whether someone a c t u a l l y c o u l d be a 'person' ( i n any more than an extremely t h i n and t r i v i a l sense) while t r u l y s a t i s f y i n g AU moral o b l i g a t i o n s . On the other hand, the agent may f a i l to s a t i s f y her AU o b l i g a t i o n s . In t h i s event, the p e r s o n a l / 1 9 9 i n t e g r i t y of the agent i s a t t a c k e d , s i n c e the 'person' of the s e l f i s now at war with the 'AU m o r a l i s t ' . So, AU e i t h e r t h r e a t e n s the person of the agent or, as i s more l i k e l y , i t fragments the wholeness and u n i t y of the agent who s e r i o u s l y accepts i t . Since m o r a l i t y i s f o r persons and s i n c e persons should be a b l e to use i t , t h i s r e s u l t c a l l s i n t o s e r i o u s q u e s t i o n the a c c e p t a b i l i t y of AU. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Adamsd): Robert. "Motive U t i l i t a r i a n i s m " , J o u r n a l of  Philosophy, v o l . 73, 1976, pp. 467-481. Anscombe(1): G.E.M. "Modern Moral Philosophy", Philosophy, v o l . 33, 1958, pp. 1-19. A r t h u r ( l ) : John. "Rights and the Duty to B r i n g A i d " , World  Hunger and Moral O b l i g a t i o n . Ed. W i l l i a m Aiken and Hugh La F o l l e t t e . New J e r s e y : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1977, pp. 37-48. B a l e s ( 1 ) : R. Eugene. " A c t - u t i l i t a r i a n i s m : Account of Rightness-making C h a r a c t e r i s t i c or Decision-making Procedure?", American P h i l o s o p h i c a l Q u a r t e r l y , v o l . 8, 1971, pp.257-265. Bentham(l): Jeremy. An I n t r o d u c t i o n to the P r i n c i p l e s of  Morals and L e g i s l a t i o n . London: Wilson and P i c k e r i n g , 1823. Bontempo(l): C h a r l e s J . and S. Jack O d e l l . " I n t r o d u c t i o n : Some Approaches to Philosophy", The Owl of  Minerva. Ed. C h a r l e s J . Bontempo and S. Jack O d e l l . New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1975, pp. 1-40. B r a d l e y ( l ) : F.H. E t h i c a l S t u d i e s . London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1876. B r a d l e y ( 2 ) : F.H. Essays on T r u t h and R e a l i t y . London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1914. B r a n d t ( l ) : R i c h a r d . B. E t h i c a l Theory. New J e r s e y : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1959. B r a n d t ( 2 ) : Richard B. "A U t i l i t a r i a n Theory of Excuses", P h i l o s o p h i c a l Review, v o l . 78, 1969, pp. 337-361. Br a n d t ( 3 ) : R i c h a r d B. " U t i l i t a r i a n i s m and the Rules of War", Philosophy and P u b l i c A f f a i r s , v o l . 1, 1972, pp. 145-165. Br a n d t ( 4 ) : R i c h a r d B. A Theory of the Good and the R i g h t . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979. 200 / 201 Braybrooke(1): David. "The Choice Between U t i l i t a r i a n i s m s " , American P h i l o s o p h i c a l Q u a r t e r l y , v o l . 4, 1967, pp. 28-38. B r o a d O ) : C D . F i v e Types of E t h i c a l Theory. New J e r s e y : L i t t l e f i e l d , Adams and Co., 1965. B r o c k d ) : Dan W. " U t i l i t a r i a n i s m " , And J u s t i c e For A l l . Ed. Tom Regan and Donald VanDeVeer. New J e r s e y : Rowan and L i t t l e f i e l d , 1982, pp. 217-240. Brock(2): Dan W. " U t i l i t a r i a n i s m and A i d i n g Others", The L i m i t s of U t i l i t a r i a n i s m . Ed. Harlan B. M i l l e r and W i l l i a m H. W i l l i a m s . M i n n e a p o l i s : U n i v e r s i t y of Minnesota Press, 1982, pp. 225-241. Bu c h a n a n d ) : James M. " E t h i c a l Rules, Expected Values, and Large Numbers", E t h i c s , v o l . 76, 1965, pp. 1-13. C a r s o n d ) : Thomas L. " U t i l i t a r i a n i s m and World Poverty", The L i m i t s of U t i l i t a r i a n i s m . Ed. Harlen B. M i l l e r and W i l l i a m H. W i l l i a m s . M i n n e a p o l i s : U n i v e r s i t y of Minnesota Press, 1982, pp. 242-252. C o o p e r d ) : W.E. C r i t i c a l N o t i c e of V i o l e n c e For E q u a l i t y . By Ted Honderich. Canadian J o u r n a l of Philosophy, v o l . 14, 1984, pp. 517-543. D a n i e l s d ) : Norman. "Wide R e f l e c t i v e E q u i l i b r i u m and Theory Acceptance i n E t h i c s " , J o u r n a l of Philosophy, v o l . 76, 1979, pp. 256-282. D a n i e l s ( 2 ) : Norman. "On Some Methods of E t h i c s and L i n g u i s t i c s " , P h i l o s o p h i c a l S t u d i e s , v o l . 37, 1980, pp.21-36. D a n i e l s ( 3 ) : Norman. " R e f l e c t i v e E q u i l i b r i u m and Archimedan P o i n t s " , Canadian J o u r n a l of Philosophy, v o l . 10, 1980, pp. 83-103. D a v i s d ) : Nancy. " U t i l i t a r i a n i s m and R e s p o n s i b i l i t y " , R a t i o , v o l . 22, 1980, pp.15-35. Diamond(l): Cora. " E a t i n g Meat and E a t i n g People", Philosophy, v o l . 53, 1978, pp. 465-479. E w i n g d ) : A.C. "What Would Happen If Everyone Acted L i k e Me?", Philosophy, v o l . 28, 1953, pp.16-29. / 202 E z o r s k y ( l ) : Gertrude. Review of Forms and L i m i t s of  U t i l i t a r i a n i s m . By David Lyons. J o u r n a l of  Philosophy, v o l . 65, 1968, pp. 533-544. Feldman(1): Fred. "On the E x t e n s i o n a l Equivalence of Simple and General U t i l i t a r i a n i s m " , Nous, v o l . 8, 1974, pp. 185-194. Feldman(2): Fred. I n t r o d u c t o r y E t h i c s . New J e r s e y : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1978. F l a t h m a n ( l ) : Richard E. Review of Forms and L i m i t s of  U t i l i t a r i a n i s m . By David Lyons. E t h i c s , v o l . 76, 1965, pp. 309-317. F l e t c h e r O ) : Joseph. "Give If I t Helps But Not I f I t Hurts", World Hunger and Moral O b l i g a t i o n . Ed. W i l l i a m Aiken and Hugh La F o l l e t t e . New J e r s e y : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1977, pp. 103-114. F o o t ( l ) : P h i l i p p a . " I n t r o d u c t i o n " , T h e o r i e s of E t h i c s . Ed. P h i l i p p a Foot. Oxford: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1967, pp. 1-15. G a u t h i e r ( 1 ) : David. " M o r a l i t y and Advantage", P h i l o s o p h i c a l  Review, v o l . 76, 1967, pp. 460-475. F r a n k e n a ( l ) : W.K. E t h i c s . New J e r s e y : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1963. H a r d i n ( l ) : G a r r e t t . " L i f e b o a t E t h i c s : The Case Against H e l p i n g the Poor", World Hunger and Moral  O b l i g a t i o n . Ed. W i l l i a m Aiken and Hugh La F o l l e t t e . New J e r s e y : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1977, pp. 11-21. H a r e ( l ) : R.M. The Language of Morals. London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1952. Hare(2): R.M. Freedom and Reason. London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1963. Hare(3): R.M. "Rules of War and Moral Reasoning", Philosophy  and P u b l i c A f f a i r s , v o l . 1, 1972, pp. 166-181. Hare(4): R.M. "The Argument From Received Opinion", Essays  on P h i l o s o p h i c a l Method. By R.M. Hare. Berkeley: U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1972, pp. 117-135. / 203 Hare(5):. R.M. "Rawls' Theory of J u s t i c e " , P h i l o s o p h i c a l  Q u a r t e r l y , v o l . 23, 1973, pp. 144-155, pp. 241-252. Hare(6): R.M. " J u s t i c e and E q u a l i t y " , J u s t i c e and Economic  D i s t r i b u t i o n . Ed. John Arthur and W i l l i a m H. Shaw. New J e r s e y : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1978, pp. 116-132. H a r r i s ( l ) : John. "Williams on Negative R e s p o n s i b i l i t y and I n t e g r i t y " , P h i l o s o p h i c a l Q u a r t e r l y , v o l . 24, 1974, pp. 265-273. H a r r i s o n ( 1 ) : Jonathan. " U t i l i t a r i a n i s m , U n i v e r s a l i z a t i o n , and Our Duty to Be J u s t " , Proceedings of the  A r i s t o t e l i a n S o c i e t y , 1952, pp. 105-134. H a r r o d O ) : R.F. " U t i l i t a r i a n i s m r e v i s e d " , Mind, v o l . 45, 1937, pp. 137-156. H a r t O ) : H.L.A. " D e f i n i t i o n and Theory i n J u r i s p r u d e n c e " , Law Q u a r t e r l y Review, v o l . 70, 1954, pp. 35-60. Hodgson(1): D.H. Consequences of U t i l i t a r i a n i s m . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967. H o n d e r i c M 1 ) : Ted. V i o l e n c e For E q u a l i t y . New York: Penguin Books L t d . , 1980. Hu m e ( l ) : David; An Enquiry concerning the P r i n c i p l e s of  Morals. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975. J o h n s o n ( l ) : Conrad D. Review of I n d i v i d u a l Conduct and  S o c i a l Norms. By Rolf E. S a r t o r i u s . J o u r n a l of  Philosophy, v o l . 73, 1976, pp. 486-490. K a n t O ) : I. Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals. London: Harper and Row, 1964. -K e r n e r ( l ) : George. "The Immorality of U t i l i t a r i a n i s m and the Escapism of R u l e - u t i l i t a r i a n i s m " , P h i l o s o p h i c a l  Q u a r t e r l y , v o l . 21, 1971, pp. 36-50. Landesman(1): C h a r l e s . "A Note on Act U t i l i t a r i a n i s m " , P h i l o s o p h i c a l Review, v o l . 73, 1964, pp. 243-247. L e w i s O ) : David. " U t i l i t a r i a n i s m and T r u t h f u l n e s s " , A u s t r a l i a n J o u r n a l of Philosophy, v o l . 50, 1972, pp. 17-19. / 204 Lyons(1): David. Forms and L i m i t s of U t i l i t a r i a n i s m . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965. Lyons(2): David. "On S a n c t i o n i n g Excuses", J o u r n a l of  Philosophy, v o l . 66, 1969, pp. 646-660. M a c l n t y r e ( 1 ) : A l a s d a i r . A f t e r V i r t u e . London: G e r a l d Duckworth and Co. L t d . , 198.1. M a c k i e O ) : J.L. "The D i s u t i l i t y of A c t - u t i l i t a r i a n i s i m " , P h i l o s o p h i c a l Q u a r t e r l y , v o l . 23, 1973, pp. 289-300. Mackie(2): J.L. E t h i c s : Inventing Right and Wrong. Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1977. McConnell(1): Terrance. " U t i l i t a r i a n i s m and Superogatory A c t s " , R a t i o , v o l . 22, 1980, pp.36-38. McCloskey(1): H.J. "A Note on U t i l i t a r i a n Punishment", Mind, v o l . 72, 1963, p.599. M i l l ( l ) : J.S. U t i l i t a r i a n i s m . I n d i a n a p o l i s : Hackett P u b l i s h i n g Company, Inc., 1979. M o o r e ( l ) : G.E. P r i n c i p i a E t h i c a . Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1903. N a g e l ( l ) : Thomas. "War and Massacre", Philosophy and P u b l i c  A f f a i r s , v o l . . 1 , 1972, pp. 123-144. Nagel ( 2 ) : Thomas. "The Fragmentation of Value", M o r t a l  Questions. By Thomas Nagel. Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1979, pp. 128-141. N a r v e s o n ( l ) : Jan. "Animal R i g h t s " , Canadian J o u r n a l of  Philosophy, v o l . 7, 1977, pp. 161-178. Nowell-Smith(1): P.H. E t h i c s . Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1954. Nowell-Smith(2): P.H. "Some R e f l e c t i o n s of U t i l i t a r i a n i s m " , Canadian J o u r n a l of Philosophy, v o l . 2, 1973, pp. 417-431. O ' N e i l l ( l ) : Onora. " L i f e b o a t E t h i c s " , World Hunger and Moral  O b l i g a t i o n . Ed. W i l l i a m A i l e n and Hugh La F o l l e t t e . New J e r s e y : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1977, pp. 148-164. / 205 0 ' N e i l l ( 2 ) : Onora. "The Moral P e r p l e x i t i e s of Famine R e l i e f " , Matters of L i f e and Death. Ed. Tom Regan. P h i l a d e l p h i a : Temple U n i v e r s i t y P ress, 1980, pp. 260-298. O ' N e i l l O ) : Onora. "The Moral P e r p l e x i t i e s of Famine R e l i e f " , Matters of L i f e and DeatMsecond e d i t i o n ) . Ed. Tom Regan. New York: Random House, Inc., 1986, pp. 294-337. P a r f i t ( l ) : Derek. Reasons and Persons. Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1984. R a l l s ( l ) : Anthony. " R a t i o n a l M o r a l i t y For E m p i r i c a l Man", Philosophy, v o l . 44, 1969, pp. 205-216. R a w l s ( l ) : John. " O u t l i n e Of a D e c i s i o n Procedure i n E t h i c s " , P h i l o s o p h i c a l Review, v o l . 60, 1951, pp. 177-197. Rawls(2): John. A Theory of J u s t i c e . Massachusetts: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y P ress, 1971. Rawls(3): John. "The Independence of Moral Theory", American  P h i l o s o p h i c a l Proceedings and Addresses, v o l . 48-49, 1974-1976, pp. 5-22. R e g a n ( l ) : Tom. "Narveson on Egoism and the R i g h t s of Animals", Canadian J o u r n a l of Philosophy, vol.' 7, 1977, pp. 179-186. Regan(2): Tom. " U t i l i t a r i a n i s m , V e g e t a r i a n i s m and Animal R i g h t s " , Philosophy and P u b l i c A f f a i r s , v o l . 9, 1980, pp. 305-324. Regan(3): Tom. The Case For Animal R i g h t s . C a l i f o r n i a : U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1983. R u s s e l l d ) : B e r t r a n d . The Problems of P h i l o s o p h y . London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P ress, 1912. S a r t o r i u s ( 1 ) : Rolf E. I n d i v i d u a l Conduct and S o c i a l Norms. C a l i f o r n i a : Dickenson P u b l i s h i n g Company, Inc., 1975. S a r t o r i u s ( 2 ) : Rolf E. "Benevolence, C o l l e c t i v e A c t i o n , and the P r o v i s i o n of P u b l i c Goods", The L i m i t s of  U t i l i t a r i a n i s m . Ed. Harlan B. M i l l e r and W i l l i a m H. W i l l i a m s . M i n n e a p o l i s : U n i v e r s i t y of Minnesota Press, 1982, pp. 209-216. / 206 S c h e f f l e r ( 1 ) : Samuel. The R e j e c t i o n of Consequentialism. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982. S i d g w i c k ( 1 ) : Henry. "The Establishment of E t h i c a l F i r s t P r i n c i p l e s " , Mind, v o l . 4, 1879, pp. 106-111. Si d g w i c k ( 2 ) : Henry. The Methods of E t h i c s ( s e v e n t h e d i t i o n ) . London: Macmillan and Co. L t d . , 1907. Singer, M.G.(1): G e n e r a l i z a t i o n i n E t h i c s . London: Eyre and Spottiswoods, 1963. S i n g e r d ) : P e t e r . "The T r i v i a l i t y of the Debate Over 'Is-Ought' and the D e f i n i t i o n of 'Moral'", American P h i l o s o p h i c a l Q u a r t e r l y , v o l . 10, 1972, pp. 31-36. S i n g e r ( 2 ) : P e t e r . "Is A c t - u t i l i t a r i a n i s m S e l f - d e f e a t i n g ? " , P h i l o s o p h i c a l Review, v o l . 81, 1972, pp. 90-104. S i n g e r ( 3 ) : P e t e r . "Sidgwick and R e f l e c t i v e E q u i l i b r i u m " , The  Monist, v o l . 58, 1974, pp. 490-517. S i n g e r ( 4 ) : P e t e r . Animal L i b e r a t i o n . New York: Avon Books, 1 975. S i n g e r ( 5 ) : P e t e r . "Famine, A f f l u e n c e and M o r a l i t y " , World  Hunger and Moral O b l i g a t i o n . Ed. W i l l i a m Aiken and Hugh La F o l l e t t e . New J e r s e y : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1977, pp. 22-36. S i n g e r ( 6 ) : P e t e r . P r a c t i c a l E t h i c s . Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1979. S i n g e r ( 7 ) : P e t e r . " U t i l i t a r i a n i s m and Vegetarianism", Philosophy and P u b l i c A f f a i r s , v o l . 9, 1980, pp. 325-327. S i n g e r ( 8 ) : P e t e r . The Expanding C i r c l e . New York: F a r r a r , Straus and Giroux, 1981. S i n g e r ( 9 ) : P e t e r . "Animals and the Value of L i f e " , Matters • of L i f e and Death(second e d i t i o n ) . Ed. Tom Regan. New York: Random House, Inc., 1986, pp. 338-380. S m a r t O ) : J.J.C. "The Methods of E t h i c s and the Methods of S c i e n c e " , J o u r n a l of Philosophy, v o l . 62, 1965, pp. 344-349. / 207 Smart(2): J.J.C. "An o u t l i n e of a system of u t i l i t a r i a n e t h i c s " , U t i l i t a r i a n i s m ; For and A g a i n s t . By J.J.C. Smart and Bernard W i l l i a m s . London: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1973. Smart(3): J.J.C. " D i s t r i b u t i v e J u s t i c e and U t i l i t a r i a n i s m " , J u s t i c e and Economic D i s t r i b u t i o n . Ed. John Arthur and W i l l i a m H. Shaw. New J e r s e y : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1978, pp. 103-115. Smart(4): J.J.C. "Hedonic and I d e a l U t i l i t a r i a n i s m " , Midwest  S t u d i e s i n Philosophy, v o l . 3, 1978, pp. 240-251. S t o c k e r ( l ) : M i c h a e l . "Act and Agent E v a l u a t i o n s " , Review of  Metaphysics, v o l . 27, 1973, pp. 42-61. S t o c k e r ( 2 ) : M i c h a e l . "The S c h i z o p h r e n i a of Modern E t h i c a l T h e o r i e s " , J o u r n a l of Philosophy, v o l . 73, 1976, pp. 453-466. S t o u t ( l ) : A.K. "Suppose Everybody Did The Same", A u s t r a l i a n  J o u r n a l of Philosophy, v o l . 32, 1954, pp. 1-29. S t r a n g d ) : C o l i n . "What i f Everyone Di d That?", Durham  U n i v e r s i t y J o u r n a l , v o l . 53, 1960, pp. 5-10. T a y l o r ( l ) : C h a r l e s . "The d i v e r s i t y of goods", U t i l i t a r i a n i s m  and beyond. Ed. Amartya Sen and Bernard W i l l i a m s . Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1982, pp. 129-144. Warnock(l): G.J. The Object of M o r a l i t y . London: Cox and Wyman L t d . , 1971 . Watson(1): R i c h a r d A. "Reason and M o r a l i t y i n a World of L i m i t e d Food", World Hunger and Moral O b l i g a t i o n . Ed. W i l l i a m Aiken and Hugh La F o l l e t t e . New J e r s e y : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1977, pp. 115-123. Wenz(1): Peter S. " A c t - u t i l i t a r i a n i s m and Animal L i b e r a t i o n " , The P e r s o n a l i s t , v o l . 60, 1979, pp. 423-428. W i l l i a m s ( l ) : Bernard. M o r a l i t y : An I n t r o d u c t i o n to E t h i c s . London: Harper and Row, 1972. W i l l i a m s ( 2 ) : Bernard. "A c r i t i q u e of u t i l i t a r i a n i s m " , U t i l i t a r i a n i s m : For and A g a i n s t . By J.J.C. Smart and Bernard W i l l i a m s . London: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1973. / 208 W i n k l e r ( l ) : E a r l R. " U t i l i t a r i a n i s m and Personal R e l a t i o n s " , Canadian J o u r n a l of Philosophy, v o l . 12, 1982, D D . 265-286. W o l f O ) : Susan. "Moral S a i n t s " , J o u r n a l of Philosophy, v o l . 79, 1982, pp. 419-439. 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0100470/manifest

Comment

Related Items