Definition of consequentialism in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /kɒnsɪˈkwɛnʃ(ə)lɪz(ə)m/


[mass noun] Philosophy
The doctrine that the morality of an action is to be judged solely by its consequences.
Example sentences
  • This entry will not go into the many issues that arise in the discussion of deontology and consequentialism here.
  • But the particular kind of consequentialism in utilitarianism is, I think, unattractive.
  • Pragmatism in ethics is often regarded as a form of teleology or consequentialism.



adjective& noun
Example sentences
  • Classic utilitarianism is consequentialist as opposed to deontological because of what it denies.
  • As with many hybrid views, the deontological and consequentialist components tend to pull apart, with each threatening to subordinate the other.
  • When writers describe themselves as consequentialists rather than as utilitarians, they are normally signalling that their fundamental evaluations will be in terms of not only welfare but also some other goods.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: con|se¦quen|tial|ism

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.