It seems to me that there are not only reasons for action, but also reasons for belief and even reasons for having certain feelings and attitudes. But even if you don’t accept that there are non-instrumental normative reasons to want something or to prefer one thing to another, let’s just grant, for the sake of argument, that there are. If we grant this, it seems that we should also grant that a complete moral theory should tells us not only how we morally ought to act but also what we morally ought to feel, desire, prefer, etc. If this is so, we should, I think, distinguish act-consequentialism from its rivals according to how they prioritize the following two questions:
Q1 Morally speaking, which of the available outcomes (i.e., those which an agent can actualize through her action or inaction) should an agent prefer to which others? Or, in other words, which of the available outcomes should an agent rank above which others in terms of the moral desirability of their obtaining.
Q2 Morally speaking, which of the available acts should an agent perform?