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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Fred Feldman

Second Advisor

Peter Graham

Third Advisor

Katia Vavova

Fourth Advisor

Lyn Frazier

Subject Categories

Ethics and Political Philosophy


I present the mismatch problem for Act Consequentialism, and I critically evaluate some popular solutions before offering my own solution to a specific version of the problem. The mismatch problem arises for Act Consequentialism when a group could have done better, but no individual in the group had an alternative with a better outcome. In such cases, the theory delivers mismatched verdicts: it condemns what the group does, but it cannot condemn any of the individual acts. In the first chapter of the dissertation, I explain exactly how this problem works. In the next four chapters, I identify a variety of cases that give rise to the mismatch problem, and I explain why the most popular strategies for modifying Act Consequentialism do not get around it. In the final chapter, I introduce a novel taxonomy of problem cases, and I introduce a 'cautious' version of Act Consequentialism that doesn't encounter the mismatch problem for a certain class of case.