more from Francis Hutcheson

Single Idea 6246

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / g. Consequentialism]

Full Idea

No good effect, which I did not actually foresee and intend, makes my action morally good.

Gist of Idea

My action is not made good by a good effect, if I did not foresee and intend it


Francis Hutcheson (Treatise 2: Virtue or Moral Good [1725], žIII.XII)

Book Reference

'British Moralists 1650-1800 Vol. 1', ed/tr. Raphael,D.D. [Hackett 1991], p.288

A Reaction

This is one of the parents of utilitarianism repudiating pure consequentialism. Bentham sharply divided the action (which is consequentialist) from the person (who has useful intentions, but is not particulary important); this division is misleading.