con·se·quen·tial·ism | \ˌkän(t)-sə-ˈkwen(t)-shə-ˌli-zəm \

Definition of consequentialism 

: the theory that the value and especially the moral value of an act should be judged by the value of its consequences

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Other Words from consequentialism

consequentialist \ˌkän(t)-sə-ˈkwen(t)-shə-ˌlist \ adjective or noun

Examples of consequentialism in a Sentence

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In moral philosophy, this approach, distinct from virtue ethics, is called consequentialism. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Enough With the Trolley Problem," 30 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'consequentialism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of consequentialism

1982, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of consequentialism was in 1982

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What made you want to look up consequentialism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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