Virtue Ethics and Repugnant Conclusions
Both utilitarian and deontological moral theories locate the source of our moral beliefs in the wrong sorts of considerations. One way this failure manifests itself, we argue, is in the ways these theories analyze the proper human relationship toward the non-human environment. Another, more notorious, manifestation of this failure is found in Derek Parfit's Repugnant Conclusion. Our goal is to explore the connection between these two failures, and to suggest that they are failures of act-centered moral theories in general. As such, they cannot be fixed by simply developing a better version of such a theory. Virtue-based theories, we suggest, provide a more promising alternative.
© 2005 Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Published in final form at:
Matt Zwolinski and David Schmidtz, “Virtue Ethics and Repugnant Conclusions,” in Philip Cafaro and Ronald Sandler, eds., Environmental Virtue Ethics, (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005), pp. 107-117.
Zwolinski, Matt, "Virtue Ethics and Repugnant Conclusions" (2005). Philosophy Faculty Publications. Paper 14.