Research Article

In Defense of a Version of Satisficing Consequentialism


a1 University of Rochester


In this article, I develop, motivate, and offer a qualified defense of a version of satisficing consequentialism (SC). I develop the view primarily in light of objections to other versions of SC recently posed by Ben Bradley. I motivate the view by showing that it (1) accommodates the intuitions apparently supporting those objections, (2) is supported by certain ‘common-sense’ moral intuitions about specific cases, and (3) captures the central ideas expressed by satisficing consequentialists in the recent literature. Finally, I offer a qualified defense of the view that consists in showing that it meets Bradley's criteria for being a version of satisficing consequentialism that is ‘worth considering’. Specifically, it is a version of SC that solves certain problems for maximizing consequentialism and yet does not permit the gratuitous prevention of goodness.


Sincere thanks go to Earl Conee for his encouragement and helpful input during the course of writing this article. Thanks also go to an audience of faculty and graduate students at the University of Rochester (to whom an earlier version of this article was presented), particularly to Jonathan Matheson and Joshua Spencer.