Nobody ever reads dissertations, and while I hope to publish each of my chapters as stand-alone articles (the first has already been accepted by Phil Quarterly, and the second received an R&R from Nous before being rejected for idiosyncratic reasons), I figure that a convenient blog-post summary might help some of the key ideas to gain greater circulation. So, here goes...
Chapter One: 'Fittingness: The Sole Normative Primitive'
* Global Consequentialism's "parity thesis" is mistaken: There's an important difference in normative structure between rationally evaluable acts and "mere evaluands" like eye colours.
* We -- including consequentialists -- should take fittingness (or fitting reasons), rather than value, as our primitive normative concept for normative theorizing. This unifies and illuminates the scope of normative theorizing, or the range of substantive questions that are available to ask, as it tells us that there's a distinct class of normative assessments for each kind of "rational output" (i.e., beliefs, desires, and choices/actions). By relating value (what's fit to desire) to the distinct property of fitting choice, the fittingness framework allows the Consequentialist criterion of rightness to be a substantive (rather than analytic or otherwise empty) truth.
* Rule Consequentialism is structurally very weird, and in an important sense 'deontological', i.e. giving a certain kind of priority to 'the right' (fitting choice) over 'the good' (fitting desire).
Chapter Two: 'The Fitting and the Fortunate'
* Introduces the central distinction of my dissertation, i.e. between Fitting and Fortunate agents, and how to charitably interpret "character-based" objections to consequentialism in terms of the former.
* How to distinguish genuinely anti-consequentialist intuitions from mere axiological refinements.
* Why the "Separateness of Persons" objection is fundamentally confused. (If people never listen to another word that I say, I hope that they at least take note of this!)
Chapter Three: 'What's Fit for the Fallible'
* How to construct a "self-effacingness objection" that's worth taking seriously.
* What a Consequentialist Decision Procedure would actually look like. (And why this neither involves constantly calculating expected utilites, nor just any old extrinsically desirable dispositions.)
Chapter Four: 'Virtue and Salience'
* By adopting a "quality of will" account of blameworthiness and character evaluation, we can offer a plausible account of why letting a child drown in Singer's pond reveals you to be a worse person than does failing to save lives by donating to effective charities, even though the latter type of act is no less important, or worth choosing, than the former.
* Alleged "virtues of ignorance" (e.g. modesty) are better understood as "virtues of salience". The modest agent, for example, need not have any false beliefs about her own qualities; she just isn't disposed to attend to them or consider them especially important.