Consequentialism and the Nearest and Dearest Objection

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter suggests that the nearest and dearest objection is best understood as attempting to show that consequentialism is, in Parfit terms, 'indirectly collectively self-defeating'. The concern is that if significant numbers of us act to maximize neutral value we will end up living lives which are not worth living - not worth living because we will have given up precisely those projects that make our lives worth living. Consequentialism is thus indirectly collectively self-defeating: adhering to the injunction to act so as to maximize neutral value is likely to render us all worse off.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMinds, Ethics, and Conditionals
Subtitle of host publicationThemes from the Philosophy of Frank Jackson
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191708268
ISBN (Print)9780199267989
StatePublished - May 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


  • Consequentialism
  • Frank jackson
  • Parfit


Dive into the research topics of 'Consequentialism and the Nearest and Dearest Objection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this