Critique of consequentialist moral absolutism

  • Francisco Garcia Gibson G.I. Filosofía Política Facultad de Filosofía y Letras Universidad de Buenos Aires Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)
Keywords: Moral absolutism, consequentialism, deontologism, bias, rights, special obligations


In this work, I assess critically three arguments in favor of moral absolutism. Perhaps surprisingly, these arguments justify absolutism because of its consequences. The first argument point out from certain cognitive biases in orden to show that treating moral norms as absolute maximizes our conformity with these norms. The second argument holds that we must deal with a right as absolute when it is not possible to compensate the infraction of that right; otherwise, rights would lose all practical relevance. The third argument starts o with the intrinsic value of special relationships, like friendship, to show that special relationships will be undermined if we do not treat special obligations as absolute. The three arguments fail because they do not show that treating certain moral norms as absolute is neither necessary nor suffcient to accomplish the important consequences that the arguments identify.

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Author Biography

Francisco Garcia Gibson, G.I. Filosofía Política Facultad de Filosofía y Letras Universidad de Buenos Aires Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)

Doctor en Filosofía, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Buenos Aires. Docente en la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Instituto de Filosofía, Jefe de Trabajos Prácticos, de la misma universidad. Sus áreas de investigación: temas de pobreza extrema global, realismo político, teoría no ideal y manos sucias en política. Publicaciones recientes: Solving confliicts between domestic inequality and global poverty: Lexicality vs. proportionality, En: Ethics and Global Politics (9), 2016; Utopias and comparative assessments of justice, En: Metaphilosophy (47), 2016; Desigualdad global y coerción, En: Análisis Filosó co 36, 2015.


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How to Cite
Garcia Gibson, F. (2018). Critique of consequentialist moral absolutism. Estudios De Filosofía, (57), 161-174.
Original or Research articles