Hooker on Rule Consequentialism and Virtue

Utilitas 25:3 (2013), pp. 421 - 432 © Cambridge University Press

In Ideal Code, Real World, Brad Hooker proposes an account of the relation between his rule consequentialism and virtue according to which the virtues (1) have intrinsic value and (2) are identical with the dispositions that are ‘essential parts of accepting the rules’ of the ideal code. While it is not clear whether Hooker actually intends to endorse this account or only intends to moot it for discussion, I argue that for him to adopt it would be a mistake. Not only would this mean that his moral theory was no longer properly a consequentialist view at all, but it would commit him to inconsistent views about how normative theories—in particular theories of morality in the deontic sense and theories of virtue—are justified.

Published version (on Utilitas's website)