Demandingness Objection

The demandingness objection refers to an argument against varieties of consequentialism. Tim Mulgan presents the argument in the following form:

  1. Consequentialism makes demand D.
  2. D is an unreasonable demand for a moral theory to make.
  3. Therefore, consequentialism makes unreasonable demands.1

The demandingness objection derives much of its strength from cases in which adherence to consequentialism appears to require extraordinary sacrifices of moral agents, sacrifices which plausibly appear supererogatory. When confronted with a form of the demandingness objection, consequentialists must either deny that consequentialism requires the specified demand or deny that the demand made upon moral agents is unreasonable.

  1. Tim Mulgan, The Demands of Consequentialism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 25.

« Back to Glossary Index