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The Moral Oracle’s test
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
2014 (English)In: Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, ISSN 1386-2820, E-ISSN 1572-8447, Vol. 17, no 4, 643-651 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

When presented with a situation involving an agent's choice between alternative actions, a moral oracle says what the agent is allowed to do. The oracle bases her advice on some moral theory, but the nature of that theory is not known by us. The moral oracle's test consists in determining whether a series of questions to the oracle can be so constructed that her answers will reveal which of two given types of theories she adheres to. The test can be applied to moral theories in order to determine if they differ in their recommendations for action. Based on this test, a terminology is developed to specify different forms and degrees of distinguishability between moral theories, or types of theories, in terms of their recommendations for action. In conclusion, the test is applied to consequentialism and utilitarianism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 17, no 4, 643-651 p.
Keyword [en]
Broad consequentialism, Condensed example, Consequentialism, Moral advice, Moral oracle, Moral theory, Utilitarianism
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-86303DOI: 10.1007/s10677-014-9500-5ISI: 000339804500006ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84904694406OAI: diva2:500597

QC 20140903

Available from: 2012-02-13 Created: 2012-02-13 Last updated: 2014-09-03Bibliographically approved

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Hansson, Sven Ove
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