The Dimensions of Consequentialism

November 16, 2013 - November 17, 2013
Department of Philosophy, University of Konstanz

F 425
Universitätsstraße 10
Konstanz 78464


  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
  • 3TU. Centre for Ethics and Technology
  • Zukunftskolleg, University of Konstanz


Vuko Andric
University of Konstanz
Matthew Braham
University of Bayreuth
Campbell Brown
University of Glasgow
Joanna Burch-Brown
University of Bristol
Roger Crisp
Oxford University
Nicolas Espinoza
Stockholm University
Jan Gertken
Humboldt-University, Berlin
Frances Howard-Snyder
Western Washington University
Martin Peterson
Eindhoven University of Technology
Thomas Schmidt
Humboldt-University, Berlin
Attila Tanyi
University of Konstanz


Vuko Andric
University of Konstanz
Attila Tanyi
University of Konstanz

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The Dimensions of Consequentialism

International Workshop, November, 16-17, 2013

University of Konstanz, Room F 425

The workshop is free and open to the public

At this workshop, Martin Peterson's new book “The Dimensions of Consequentialism” (Cambridge University Press, 2013) will be discussed. Peterson introduces a new type of consequentialist theory: multi-dimensional consequentialism. According to this theory, an act’s moral rightness depends on several separate dimensions, including wellbeing, equality, and risk. Peterson aims to show that moral views about equality and risk that were previously thought to be mutually incompatible can be rendered compatible. In this context, Peterson argues for there being degrees of rightness rather than rightness being an all-or-nothing property. What is supposed to make Peterson’s multi-dimensional consequentialism attractive is that it can account for intuitions that are widely thought to speak against traditional versions of consequentialism. While one-dimensional consequentialists concede that virtually any act could be right provided that the net benefit is optimal when calculated in the appropriate way, the multi-dimensional theory proposed by Peterson seems to avoid this counter-intuitive conclusion. At best, acts that, for example, lead to someone being better off at the expense of another, or which produce unfair inequalities, or which are risky, could be right to some degree but not entirely right, no matter how well these acts score with respect to other aspects.

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