Consequentialist Friendship and Quasi-instrumental Goods

Michael Byrona1

a1 Kent State University, mbyron@kent.edu


Recent literature defends consequentialism against the charge that consequentialists cannot be friends. This paper argues in rebuttal that consequentialists value friends for the wrong reasons. Even if they are motivated by love and affection, consequentialists must act as if they valued their friends as merely instrumental goods, a mode of valuing I call ‘quasi-instrumental’. I conclude by suggesting the root cause of the problem of intrinsic value for consequentialism.