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Consequentialism has received extensive criticism concerning its relationship to love or friendship. Consequentialism and friendship, it is claimed, are something like oil and water. The consequentialist pursuit of the greater good excludes the appropriate special regard that people should have for their friends and those close to them. As a result, the consequentialist alienates his friends, who fear he is a false friend.1
Consequentialists have provided a standard response, advocating what has been called sophisticated consequentialism. Friendship is troublesome, they claim, only for someone who always operates subjectively with a consequentialist mode of reasoning. A more sophisticated consequentialist, however, will often suppress consequentialist reasoning, precisely because this suppression promotes the greater good.2 In emergency situations, for instance, intricate consequentialist reasoning might disastrously delay the needed action.3It would be counterproductive—in relation...