This is about ethics. Could you please explain to me the non-consequentialist theory of morality?
There is not just one non-consequentialist theory of morality but many. A consequentialist theory
holds that the moral value of an action is determined by its results. The main example is utilitarianism.
The theories of Aristotle and Kant are non-consequentialist since for both philosophers moral value
lies in the condition of the agent. For Aristotle ethical value lies in the well-being of the moral agent, a
condition called "eudaimonia". To be in this condition is to possess certain virtues, such as courage
and truthfulness, and to be able to act without deficiency or excess, which is to exercise self-control.
Aristotle does not state any general principles for action, such as "love they neighbour", but claims
that a virtuous action must be voluntary, performed with pleasure and done for its own sake by a
person of stable character (intellectual wisdom should regulate emotions and desires). As far as a
particular situation is concerned, such a person needs to look at possible consequences, but the
moral value depends upon character and the way in which the action is performed.
Kant holds that a moral action is done from duty rather than inclination. To act according to duty is to
act in accordance with the categorical imperative which states that you should only act on a principle
which you can at the same will as universal law. Since we cannot will that all persons should make
false promises, a false promise is ruled out as immoral whatever the consequences. Kant specifically
states that "the moral worth of an action does not depend on the result expected from it". The
condition of the subject is also essential to a moral action. A rational subject who is able to act without
regard for his own interests and inclinations is the moral man. Kant calls such a man "holy" since he
has "good will" in as much as his inclinations do not conflict with what he knows he ought to do. The
ordinary man, who is not holy, might think there are cases when making a false promise is the right
thing do. He might formulate a principle with references to circumstances, such that to kill the mass
murderer will save ten persons. Kant would think that this is immoral since it is to use the man who is
a mass murderer as a means to the end of saving others, and it is not treat him with the respect he is
due as a human being.
In Good and Evil: An Absolute Conception,Raimond Gaita puts forward a positively
anti-consequentialist account of what it is to be moral. This again focuses on the moral agent, in
particular his moral understanding. The claim is that a consequentialist does not have any
understanding of good and evil. Such understanding requires moral seriousness, which can be seen
in pity and remorse. Concern should not just be over what we have done when we do wrong, but the
fact that wedid it. Gaita claims this to be a reading of Socrates' claim in Plato's Gorgiasthat it is
better to suffer evil than to do it, because the evil-doer is miserable and pitiable.