Moral Education and Rule Consequentialism



Rule consequentialism holds that an action’s moral standing depends on its relation to the moral
code whose general adoption would have the best consequences. Heretofore rule consequentialists have
understood the notion of a code’s being generally adopted in terms of its being generally obeyed or, more
commonly, its being generally accepted. I argue that these ways of understanding general adoption lead
to unacceptable formulations of the theory. For instance, Brad Hooker, Michael Ridge, and Holly
Smith have recently offered different answers to the question of what ‘acceptance rate’ we should build
into our formulation of rule consequentialism, and all are unsatisfactory. I argue instead for a novel
approach to formulating rule consequentialism, ‘uniform-moral-education’ rule consequentialism, on
which what it means for a moral code to be generally adopted is not for it to be generally followed or
generally accepted, but instead for it to be generally taught.
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