Reading recommendations for the problem of consequentialist scope?

byMilan_Griffes2y2nd Aug 20175 comments


Determining which scope of outcomes to consider when making a decision seems like a difficult problem for consequentialism. By "scope of outcomes" I mean how far into the future and how many links in the causal chain to incorporate into decision-making. For example, if I'm assessing the comparative goodness of two charities, I'll need to have some method of comparing future impacts (perhaps "consider impacts that occur in the next 20 years") and flow-through contemporaneous impacts (perhaps "consider the actions of the charitable recipient, but not the actions of those they interact with").

I'm using "consequentialist scope" as a shorthand for this type of determination because I'm not aware of a common-usage word for it.

Consequentialist scope seems both (a) important and (b) difficult to think about clearly, so I want to learn more about it.

Does anyone have reading recommendations for this? Philosophy papers, blog posts, books, whatever. I didn't encounter it in Reasons and Persons, but I've only read the first third so far.