Revisiting Rule Consequentialism


  • Debashis Guha Retired professor, University of Allahabad


consequentialism, rule consequentialism, defense of rule consequentialism, critique of rule consequentialism


Under mounting pressure of the international communities and organizations to curb carbon emission causing disturbing climate change, and the growing pressure of domestic environmentalists and common man in India, the government is hard pressed to enact laws about carbon emission. However, the moot problem is whether to consider a pro-active rule of action seriously to curb carbon emission keeping the collective scenario in view, or, to consider a case-by-case scenario in view. A number of people argue that a collective approach is much better, and for that matter, pro-active general rules of actions are desirable for their outcomes or consequences are good or worthwhile. This is what we now call rule consequentialism, much different from the case-by-case act consequentialism. In this case then, the rightness of political action is determined by following some rules (or policies), which are amenable to worthwhile consequences. Similarly, we may conceive of a number of general rules of actions such as, “curb corruption”, “curb apartheid”, “curb exploitation of woman” and so on. In this paper, I would like to revisit rule consequentialism as a normative theory of rightness of action that is not immoderately overdemanding on moral agents. However, I would justify why rule consequentialism is not only overdemanding on moral agents but immoderate as well. Hence, it is an untenable normative theory of rightness of action.

Author Biography

Debashis Guha, Retired professor, University of Allahabad

Retired professor, University of Allahabad


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How to Cite

Guha, D. (2022). Revisiting Rule Consequentialism. Tattva Journal of Philosophy, 14(1). Retrieved from