McCombs School of Business

The University of Texas at Austin

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Ethics Unwrapped
Ethics Unwrapped
Beyond Business Ethics – UT Austin
  • Videos
    • Choose a Video Series

      Concepts Unwrapped
      Ethics Defined (Glossary)
      Giving Voice To Values
      In It To Win
      Scandals Illustrated
    • View Series → Concepts Unwrapped

      33 short illustrated videos explain behavioral ethics concepts and basic ethics principles.

      View Series → Ethics Defined (Glossary)

      51 animated videos – 1 to 2 minutes each – define key ethics terms and concepts.

      View Series → Giving Voice To Values

      8 short videos present the 7 principles of values-driven leadership from Giving Voice to Values by Mary Gentile.

      View Series → In It To Win

      A documentary and six short videos reveal the behavioral ethics biases in super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s story.

      View Series → Scandals Illustrated

      29 videos – one minute each – relate recent scandals in the news and give ethical insights.

      All is Not Relative

      Appropriation  Attribution

      Being Your Best Self, Part 1: Moral Awareness

      Being Your Best Self, Part 2: Moral Decision Making

      Being Your Best Self, Part 3: Moral Intent

      Being Your Best Self, Part 4: Moral Action

      Bounded Ethicality

      Causing Harm

      Conflict of Interest

      Conformity Bias

      Ethical Fading

      Ethical Leadership, Part 1: Perilous at the Top

      Ethical Leadership, Part 2: Best Practices

      Framing

      Fundamental Attribution Error

      Fundamental Moral Unit

      Implicit Bias

      Incentive Gaming

      Incrementalism

      Intro to Behavioral Ethics

      Legal Rights  Ethical Responsibilities

      Loss Aversion

      Moral Agent  Subject of Moral Worth

      Moral Equilibrium

      Moral Imagination

      Moral Muteness

      Moral Myopia

      Obedience to Authority

      Overconfidence Bias

      Representation

      Role Morality

      Self-serving Bias

      Systematic Moral Analysis

      Tangible  Abstract

      Altruism

      Behavioral Ethics

      Bounded Ethicality

      Conflict of Interest

      Conformity Bias

      Consequentialism

      Corporate Social Responsibility

      Corruption

      Deontology

      Diffusion of Responsibility

      Ethical Fading

      Ethics

      Fiduciary Duty

      Framing

      Fundamental Attribution Error

      Groupthink

      Hedonism

      In-group/Out-group

      Incrementalism

      Integrity

      Justice

      Loss Aversion

      Moral Absolutism

      Moral Agent

      Moral Cognition

      Moral Emotions

      Moral Equilibrium

      Moral Imagination

      Moral Muteness

      Moral Myopia

      Moral Philosophy

      Moral Pluralism

      Moral Psychology

      Moral Reasoning

      Moral Relativism

      Morals

      Neuroethics

      Obedience to Authority

      Overconfidence Bias

      Prosocial Behavior

      Rationalizations

      Role Morality

      Self-Serving Bias

      Social Contract Theory

      Subject of Moral Worth

      Sustainability

      Tangible  Abstract

      Utilitarianism

      Values

      Veil of Ignorance

      Virtue Ethics

      Intro to GVV

      GVV Pillar 1: Values

      GVV Pillar 2: Choice

      GVV Pillar 3: Normalization

      GVV Pillar 4: Purpose

      GVV Pillar 5: Self-Knowledge  Alignment

      GVV Pillar 6: Voice

      GVV Pillar 7: Reasons  Rationalizations

      In It To Win: The Jack Abramoff Story

      In It To Win: Jack  Framing

      In It To Win: Jack  Moral Equilibrium

      In It To Win: Jack  Overconfidence Bias

      In It To Win: Jack  Rationalizations

      In It To Win: Jack  Role Morality

      In It To Win: Jack  Self-Serving Bias

      Academic Fraud at UNC

      Armstrong’s Doping Downfall

      Baylor’s Silence on Sexual Assault

      Collapse at Rana Plaza

      Compounding Illness

      Countrywide’s Subprime Scandal

      Curbing Corruption: GlaxoSmithKline in China

      Daraprim Price Hike

      EpiPen: Out of Reach

      Equifax’s Breach of Trust

      FIFA Kickbacks: World Cup Corruption

      Final Exam Heist

      Making the Grade

      Michael Flynn: Under Investigation

      OxyContin  the Opioid Epidemic

      OxyContin: Whale Watching

      Packing Peanuts for Profit

      Penn State Scandal

      Raj Rajaratnam: Insider Trader

      Research Conflicts at UT Austin

      Robert Bentley: A Campaign Affair

      Robert Bentley: A Campaign Affair

      Samsung’s Political Connections

      Steering Student Athletes

      Tesco Cooks the Books

      Theranos’ Bad Blood

      United Airlines: Grounded

      Volkswagen’s Emissions Evasion

      Weinstein  Hollywood’s “Open Secret”

      Wells Fargo Fraud

  • Cases
  • Curated Resources
    • Intro to Ethics Unwrapped
    • Behavioral Ethics
    • Law  Policy
    • Leadership
    • Media, Arts  Culture
    • Organizational Ethics
    • Professional Ethics
    • Science, Medicine  Research
    • Sustainability  CSR
  • Glossary
  • SM  Blog
  • About
    • Contact

Consequentialism

Consequentialism is an ethical theory that judges whether or not something is right by what its consequences are. For instance, most people would agree that lying is wrong. But if telling a lie would help save a person’s life, consequentialism says it’s the right thing to do.

Two examples of consequentialism are utilitarianism and hedonism. Utilitarianism judges consequences by a “greatest good for the greatest number” standard. Hedonism, on the other hand, says something is “good” if the consequence produces pleasure or avoids pain.

Consequentialism is sometimes criticized because it can be difficult, or even impossible, to know what the result of an action will be ahead of time. Indeed, no one can know the future with certainty. Also, in certain situations, consequentialism can lead to decisions that are objectionable, even though the consequences are arguably good.

For example, let’s suppose economists could prove that the world economy would be stronger, and that most people would be happier, healthier, and wealthier, if we just enslaved 2% of the population. Although the majority of people would benefit from this idea, most would never agree to it. However, when judging the idea solely on its results, as classic consequentialism does, then “the end justifies the means.”

  • Watch the Next Video
    Corporate Social Responsibility
  • < Back to Series
  • Related Glossary Terms

    • Hedonism
    • Moral Philosophy
    • Utilitarianism

All Glossary Terms

  • Altruism
  • Behavioral Ethics
  • Bounded Ethicality
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Conformity Bias
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Corruption
  • Deontology
  • Diffusion of Responsibility
  • Ethical Fading
  • Ethics
  • Fiduciary Duty
  • Framing
  • Fundamental Attribution Error
  • Groupthink
  • Hedonism
  • In-group/Out-group
  • Incrementalism
  • Integrity
  • Justice
  • Loss Aversion
  • Moral Absolutism
  • Moral Agent
  • Moral Cognition
  • Moral Emotions
  • Moral Equilibrium
  • Moral Imagination
  • Moral Muteness
  • Moral Myopia
  • Moral Philosophy
  • Moral Pluralism
  • Moral Psychology
  • Moral Reasoning
  • Moral Relativism
  • Morals
  • Neuroethics
  • Obedience to Authority
  • Overconfidence Bias
  • Prosocial Behavior
  • Rationalizations
  • Role Morality
  • Self-Serving Bias
  • Social Contract Theory
  • Subject of Moral Worth
  • Sustainability
  • Tangible & Abstract
  • Utilitarianism
  • Values
  • Veil of Ignorance
  • Virtue Ethics

  • Videos
  • Cases
  • Curated Resources
  • Glossary
  • SM  Blog
  • About

McCombs School of Business

The University of Texas at Austin

  • English
  • Español

Ethics Unwrapped
Ethics Unwrapped
Beyond Business Ethics – UT Austin
  • Videos
    • Choose a Video Series

      Concepts Unwrapped
      Ethics Defined (Glossary)
      Giving Voice To Values
      In It To Win
      Scandals Illustrated
    • View Series → Concepts Unwrapped

      33 short illustrated videos explain behavioral ethics concepts and basic ethics principles.

      View Series → Ethics Defined (Glossary)

      51 animated videos – 1 to 2 minutes each – define key ethics terms and concepts.

      View Series → Giving Voice To Values

      8 short videos present the 7 principles of values-driven leadership from Giving Voice to Values by Mary Gentile.

      View Series → In It To Win

      A documentary and six short videos reveal the behavioral ethics biases in super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s story.

      View Series → Scandals Illustrated

      29 videos – one minute each – relate recent scandals in the news and give ethical insights.

      All is Not Relative

      Appropriation  Attribution

      Being Your Best Self, Part 1: Moral Awareness

      Being Your Best Self, Part 2: Moral Decision Making

      Being Your Best Self, Part 3: Moral Intent

      Being Your Best Self, Part 4: Moral Action

      Bounded Ethicality

      Causing Harm

      Conflict of Interest

      Conformity Bias

      Ethical Fading

      Ethical Leadership, Part 1: Perilous at the Top

      Ethical Leadership, Part 2: Best Practices

      Framing

      Fundamental Attribution Error

      Fundamental Moral Unit

      Implicit Bias

      Incentive Gaming

      Incrementalism

      Intro to Behavioral Ethics

      Legal Rights  Ethical Responsibilities

      Loss Aversion

      Moral Agent  Subject of Moral Worth

      Moral Equilibrium

      Moral Imagination

      Moral Muteness

      Moral Myopia

      Obedience to Authority

      Overconfidence Bias

      Representation

      Role Morality

      Self-serving Bias

      Systematic Moral Analysis

      Tangible  Abstract

      Altruism

      Behavioral Ethics

      Bounded Ethicality

      Conflict of Interest

      Conformity Bias

      Consequentialism

      Corporate Social Responsibility

      Corruption

      Deontology

      Diffusion of Responsibility

      Ethical Fading

      Ethics

      Fiduciary Duty

      Framing

      Fundamental Attribution Error

      Groupthink

      Hedonism

      In-group/Out-group

      Incrementalism

      Integrity

      Justice

      Loss Aversion

      Moral Absolutism

      Moral Agent

      Moral Cognition

      Moral Emotions

      Moral Equilibrium

      Moral Imagination

      Moral Muteness

      Moral Myopia

      Moral Philosophy

      Moral Pluralism

      Moral Psychology

      Moral Reasoning

      Moral Relativism

      Morals

      Neuroethics

      Obedience to Authority

      Overconfidence Bias

      Prosocial Behavior

      Rationalizations

      Role Morality

      Self-Serving Bias

      Social Contract Theory

      Subject of Moral Worth

      Sustainability

      Tangible  Abstract

      Utilitarianism

      Values

      Veil of Ignorance

      Virtue Ethics

      Intro to GVV

      GVV Pillar 1: Values

      GVV Pillar 2: Choice

      GVV Pillar 3: Normalization

      GVV Pillar 4: Purpose

      GVV Pillar 5: Self-Knowledge  Alignment

      GVV Pillar 6: Voice

      GVV Pillar 7: Reasons  Rationalizations

      In It To Win: The Jack Abramoff Story

      In It To Win: Jack  Framing

      In It To Win: Jack  Moral Equilibrium

      In It To Win: Jack  Overconfidence Bias

      In It To Win: Jack  Rationalizations

      In It To Win: Jack  Role Morality

      In It To Win: Jack  Self-Serving Bias

      Academic Fraud at UNC

      Armstrong’s Doping Downfall

      Baylor’s Silence on Sexual Assault

      Collapse at Rana Plaza

      Compounding Illness

      Countrywide’s Subprime Scandal

      Curbing Corruption: GlaxoSmithKline in China

      Daraprim Price Hike

      EpiPen: Out of Reach

      Equifax’s Breach of Trust

      FIFA Kickbacks: World Cup Corruption

      Final Exam Heist

      Making the Grade

      Michael Flynn: Under Investigation

      OxyContin  the Opioid Epidemic

      OxyContin: Whale Watching

      Packing Peanuts for Profit

      Penn State Scandal

      Raj Rajaratnam: Insider Trader

      Research Conflicts at UT Austin

      Robert Bentley: A Campaign Affair

      Robert Bentley: A Campaign Affair

      Samsung’s Political Connections

      Steering Student Athletes

      Tesco Cooks the Books

      Theranos’ Bad Blood

      United Airlines: Grounded

      Volkswagen’s Emissions Evasion

      Weinstein  Hollywood’s “Open Secret”

      Wells Fargo Fraud

  • Cases
  • Curated Resources
    • Intro to Ethics Unwrapped
    • Behavioral Ethics
    • Law  Policy
    • Leadership
    • Media, Arts  Culture
    • Organizational Ethics
    • Professional Ethics
    • Science, Medicine  Research
    • Sustainability  CSR
  • Glossary
  • SM  Blog
  • About
    • Contact

Consequentialism

Consequentialism is an ethical theory that judges whether or not something is right by what its consequences are. For instance, most people would agree that lying is wrong. But if telling a lie would help save a person’s life, consequentialism says it’s the right thing to do.

Two examples of consequentialism are utilitarianism and hedonism. Utilitarianism judges consequences by a “greatest good for the greatest number” standard. Hedonism, on the other hand, says something is “good” if the consequence produces pleasure or avoids pain.

Consequentialism is sometimes criticized because it can be difficult, or even impossible, to know what the result of an action will be ahead of time. Indeed, no one can know the future with certainty. Also, in certain situations, consequentialism can lead to decisions that are objectionable, even though the consequences are arguably good.

For example, let’s suppose economists could prove that the world economy would be stronger, and that most people would be happier, healthier, and wealthier, if we just enslaved 2% of the population. Although the majority of people would benefit from this idea, most would never agree to it. However, when judging the idea solely on its results, as classic consequentialism does, then “the end justifies the means.”

  • Watch the Next Video
    Corporate Social Responsibility
  • < Back to Series
  • Related Glossary Terms

    • Hedonism
    • Moral Philosophy
    • Utilitarianism

All Glossary Terms

  • Altruism
  • Behavioral Ethics
  • Bounded Ethicality
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Conformity Bias
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Corruption
  • Deontology
  • Diffusion of Responsibility
  • Ethical Fading
  • Ethics
  • Fiduciary Duty
  • Framing
  • Fundamental Attribution Error
  • Groupthink
  • Hedonism
  • In-group/Out-group
  • Incrementalism
  • Integrity
  • Justice
  • Loss Aversion
  • Moral Absolutism
  • Moral Agent
  • Moral Cognition
  • Moral Emotions
  • Moral Equilibrium
  • Moral Imagination
  • Moral Muteness
  • Moral Myopia
  • Moral Philosophy
  • Moral Pluralism
  • Moral Psychology
  • Moral Reasoning
  • Moral Relativism
  • Morals
  • Neuroethics
  • Obedience to Authority
  • Overconfidence Bias
  • Prosocial Behavior
  • Rationalizations
  • Role Morality
  • Self-Serving Bias
  • Social Contract Theory
  • Subject of Moral Worth
  • Sustainability
  • Tangible & Abstract
  • Utilitarianism
  • Values
  • Veil of Ignorance
  • Virtue Ethics

  • Videos
  • Cases
  • Curated Resources
  • Glossary
  • SM  Blog
  • About


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Definition of ‘consequentialism’

Word Frequency







consequentialism in British

(ˌkɒnsɪˈkwɛnʃəˌlɪzəm
)

noun

ethics

the doctrine that an action is right or wrong according as its consequences are good or bad

Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers

Word Lists

Philosophical schools and doctrines

Trends of ‘consequentialism’

Used Occasionally. consequentialism is one of the 30000 most commonly used words in the Collins dictionary






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Nearby words of ‘consequentialism’

  • consequent on
  • consequential
  • consequential loss
  • consequentialism
  • consequently
  • conservancies
  • conservancy

  • All ENGLISH words that begin with ‘C’

Source

Definition of consequentialism from the
Collins English Dictionary

Parts of the sentence

Sentences consist of a number of parts, using different parts of speech. The most important parts of speech are: The subject, which is either a noun phrase(see The noun phrase) or a pronoun(see Pron…
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