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  1. Deservingness Transfers.Knut Olav Skarsaune - 2020 - Utilitas 32 (2):209-218.
    This article seeks to cause trouble for a brand of consequentialism known as ‘desertarianism’. In somewhat different ways, views of this kind evaluate outcomes more favourably, other things equal, the better the fit between the welfare different people enjoy and the welfare they each deserve. These views imply that we can improve outcomes by redistributing welfare to fit desert, which seems plausible enough. Unfortunately, they also imply that we can improve outcomes by redistributing desert to fit welfare: in other words, (...)
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  2. Continuity in Morality and Law.Re'em Segev - forthcoming - Theoretical Inquiries in Law.
    According to the an influential and intuitively appealing argument (the Continuity Argument): (1) morality is usually continuous, namely, a gradual change in one morally significant factor triggers a gradual change in another; (2) the law should usually track morality; (3) therefore, the law should often be continuous. This argument is illustrated by cases such as the following example: since the moral difference between a defensive action that is reasonable and one that is just short of being reasonable is small, the (...)
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  3. Max Weber on Politics, Reason, and the Clash of Values and Approaches to Ethics.Manuel Dr Knoll - 2019 - Dîvân. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 24 (47):111–140.
    This article investigates how Max Weber’s theory of value conflict is connected to his realist understanding of politics and how he conceives the relation of politics and ethics. This investigation also covers Weber’s views on the argumentative limits of the social sciences and ethics. The center of Weber’s philosophy of science is constituted by his methodological thoughts on “ethical neutrality” (Wertfreiheit) of the social sciences. The first thesis of this paper contends that Weber’s theory of a clash of irreconcilable values (...)
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  4. Introduction: On the Challenges of Intergenerational Justice and Climate Change.Santiago Truccone-Borgogno - 2018 - Ethic@ - An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 3 (17):345-362.
    This introduction aims to describe some fundamental problems of intergenerational justice and climate change. It also intends to provide comments on improved versions of some of the best papers presented in the International Meeting “Intergenerational Justice and Climate Change: juridical, moral and political issues” that took place at Cordoba National University (Argentina), in September 2017. In that meeting, the discussion focused on these topics by considering the ideas of the two keynote speakers invited to the event: Lukas H. Meyer and (...)
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  5. Debunking Objective Consequentialism: The Challenge of Knowledge-Centric Anti-Luck Epistemology.Paul Silva Jr - forthcoming - In Michael Klenk (ed.), Higher Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology. Routledge.
    I explain why, from the perspective of knowledge-centric anti-luck epistemology, objective act consequentialist theories of ethics imply skepticism about the moral status of our prospective actions and also tend to be self-defeating, undermining the justification of consequentialist theories themselves. For according to knowledge-centric anti-luck epistemology there are modal anti-luck demands on both knowledge and justification, and it turns out that our beliefs about the moral status of our prospective actions are almost never able to satisfy these demands if objective act (...)
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  6. Conspiring with the Enemy: The Ethic of Cooperation in Warfare.Yvonne Chiu - 2019 - New York, NY, USA: Columbia University Press.
    *Winner of the North American Society for Social Philosophy (NASSP) Book Award 2019.* -/- Although military mores have relied primarily on just war theory, the ethic of cooperation in warfare (ECW)—between enemies even as they are trying to kill each other—is as central to the practice of warfare and to conceptualization of its morality. Neither game theory nor unilateral moral duties (God-given or otherwise) can explain the explicit language of cooperation in developing and enforcing principles of military ethics and the (...)
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  7. Welfarism.Ben Bramble - forthcoming - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics, 2nd print edition.
    Welfarism is a theory of value (or the good) simpliciter. Theories of value are fundamentally concerned with explaining what makes some possible worlds better than others. Welfarism is the view according to which the relative value of possible worlds is fully determined by how individuals are faring—or, in other words, by the facts about well-being that obtain—in these worlds. This entry begins by distinguishing between various forms of welfarism (pure vs. impure welfarism, and then narrow vs. wide welfarism). It then (...)
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  8. Morality Under Risk.Chad Lee-Stronach - 2019 - Dissertation,
    Many argue that absolutist moral theories -- those that prohibit particular kinds of actions or trade-offs under all circumstances -- cannot adequately account for the permissibility of risky actions. In this dissertation, I defend various versions of absolutism against this critique, using overlooked resources from formal decision theory. Against the prevailing view, I argue that almost all absolutist moral theories can give systematic and plausible verdicts about what to do in risky cases. In doing so, I show that critics have (...)
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  9. Moral Saints.Zahra Khazaei - 2005 - Journal of Philosophical Theological Research 6 (24):144-166.
    Moral saints are the most worthy people who are regarded as examples and exemplifications in moral and religious cultures, for they are of special noetic-educational characteristics and extra actions beyond the bound of obligation. The two obligatory and value aspects of morality in the theories of normative ethics as well as the distinct approaches in religious and secular ethics have produced different explications of the actions beyond the limits of moral duty and sanctimonious features. Moreover, various pictures of the saints' (...)
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  10. Extrinsic Value and the Separability of Reasons.Barry Maguire - 2016 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 6.
    This paper presents a puzzle for Act Consequentialists who do not want to shoot Pelé. The puzzle arises from cases involving the promotion of virtue, and motivates a systematic restriction on the separability of reasons.
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  11. Entre la utilidad y el daño: el problema de la no-identidad [Utilidad, daño y responsabilidad: el problema de la no identidad].Santiago Truccone Borgogno - 2017 - Télos 21 (2):67-84.
    In this paper I tried to find a harm based solution to the non-identity problem. I will argue that we can identify harm to future people in the non-identity cases in a violation to his right to get what the Principle of Utility implies that he should be given. That is the maxim expectable wellbeing that the agent could create in some future people.
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  12. Daño al futuro: ¿Puede el no comparativismo resolver el problema de la no-identidad?Santiago Truccone Borgogno - 2017 - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 70:83-96.
    la tesis clásica del daño afirma que un sujeto daña a otro cuando lo coloca en una peor situación de la que podría estar de otro modo. Sin embargo, algunas acciones causan consecuencias malas en determinados sujetos pero no los colocan en una condición peor de la que podrían estar de otro modo. En tales casos el no-comparativismo parece poder aportar la solución correcta desde que, para tales tesis dañar a otro es colocar a un sujeto en una condición mala. (...)
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  13. Restricted Prioritarianism or Competing Claims?Benjamin Lange - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (2):137-152.
    I here settle a recent dispute between two rival theories in distributive ethics: Restricted Prioritarianism and the Competing Claims View. Both views mandate that the distribution of benefits and burdens between individuals should be justifiable to each affected party in a way that depends on the strength of each individual’s separately assessed claim to receive a benefit. However, they disagree about what elements constitute the strength of those individuals’ claims. According to restricted prioritarianism, the strength of a claim is determined (...)
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  14. The Wrongness of Killing.Rainer Ebert - 2016 - Dissertation, Rice University
    There are few moral convictions that enjoy the same intuitive plausibility and level of acceptance both within and across nations, cultures, and traditions as the conviction that, normally, it is morally wrong to kill people. Attempts to provide a philosophical explanation of why that is so broadly fall into three groups: Consequentialists argue that killing is morally wrong, when it is wrong, because of the harm it inflicts on society in general, or the victim in particular, whereas personhood and human (...)
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  15. Caring Beings and the Immanence of Value: An Inquiry Into the Foundations of Interpersonal Morality.Richard Oxenberg - manuscript
    By what authority does morality make its demands? In this essay I argue that we find that authority within ourselves, immanent to - not necessarily the character - but the very fact of our own self-concern.
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  16. Doing What is Best.Christian Piller - 2000 - Philosophical Quarterly 50 (199):208-226.
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Utilitarianism
See also: Utility, Well-Being
  1. Malthus, l'utilitarismo teologico e il baule. [REVIEW]Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 2006 - Storia Del Pensiero Economico 3 (2):213- 219.
    I discuss Malthus, Thomas Robert "The unpublished papers in the collection of Kanto Gakuen University", Pullen, John; Parry, Trevor Hughes (eds). I argue that the theological dimension in Malthus’s overall project may be stressed in the light of some of the original materials published here for the first time. -/- .
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  2. The Argument Against Neutrality About the Size of Population.David Pomerenke - manuscript
    How should we as a society value changes in population size? The question may be crucial when evaluating global warming scenarios. I defend the intuition of neutrality, which answers a part of the question. It states that – other things being equal – it is ethically irrelevant whether or not additional people are added to a population. The argument against neutrality criticizes the intuition of neutrality as inconsistent. The contribution of this thesis is twofold: First, the framework of welfare economics, (...)
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  3. Utilitarianism with and Without Expected Utility.David McCarthy, Kalle Mikkola & Joaquin Teruji Thomas - 2016 - Journal of Mathematical Economics 87:77-113.
    We give two social aggregation theorems under conditions of risk, one for constant population cases, the other an extension to variable populations. Intra and interpersonal welfare comparisons are encoded in a single ‘individual preorder’. The theorems give axioms that uniquely determine a social preorder in terms of this individual preorder. The social preorders described by these theorems have features that may be considered characteristic of Harsanyi-style utilitarianism, such as indifference to ex ante and ex post equality. However, the theorems are (...)
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  4. Aggregation for General Populations Without Continuity or Completeness.David McCarthy, Kalle M. Mikkola & J. Teruji Thomas - 2019 - arXiv.
    We generalize Harsanyi's social aggregation theorem. We allow the population to be infi nite, and merely assume that individual and social preferences are given by strongly independent preorders on a convex set of arbitrary dimension. Thus we assume neither completeness nor any form of continuity. Under Pareto indifference, the conclusion of Harsanyi's theorem nevertheless holds almost entirely unchanged when utility values are taken to be vectors in a product of lexicographic function spaces. The addition of weak or strong Pareto has (...)
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  5. Justice and Public Health.Govind Persad - 2019 - In Anna Mastroianni, Jeff Kahn & Nancy Kass (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Public Health Ethics. New York, NY, USA: pp. ch. 4.
    This chapter discusses how justice applies to public health. It begins by outlining three different metrics employed in discussions of justice: resources, capabilities, and welfare. It then discusses different accounts of justice in distribution, reviewing utilitarianism, egalitarianism, prioritarianism, and sufficientarianism, as well as desert-based theories, and applies these distributive approaches to public health examples. Next, it examines the interplay between distributive justice and individual rights, such as religious rights, property rights, and rights against discrimination, by discussing examples such as mandatory (...)
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  6. Angelique: An Angel in Distress, Morality in Crisis.Necip Fikri Alican - 2018 - Dialogue and Universalism 28 (2):9–48.
    Michael H. Mitias argues that friendship is a central moral value constituting an integral part of the good life and therefore deserving a prominent place in ethical theory. He consequently calls upon ethicists to make immediate and decisive adjustments toward accommodating what he regards as a neglected organic relationship between friendship and morality. This is not a fanciful amendment to our standard conception of morality but a radical proposal grounded in a unifying vision to recapture the right way of doing (...)
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  7. Beyond Sacrificial Harm: A Two-Dimensional Model of Utilitarian Psychology.Guy Kahane, Jim A. C. Everett, Brian D. Earp, Lucius Caviola, Nadira S. Faber, Molly J. Crockett & Julian Savulescu - 2018 - Psychological Review 125 (2):131-164.
    Recent research has relied on trolley-type sacrificial moral dilemmas to study utilitarian versus nonutili- tarian modes of moral decision-making. This research has generated important insights into people’s attitudes toward instrumental harm—that is, the sacrifice of an individual to save a greater number. But this approach also has serious limitations. Most notably, it ignores the positive, altruistic core of utilitarianism, which is characterized by impartial concern for the well-being of everyone, whether near or far. Here, we develop, refine, and validate a (...)
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  8. The Replaceability Argument in the Ethics of Animal Husbandry.Nicolas Delon - 2016 - Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics.
    Most people agree that inflicting unnecessary suffering upon animals is wrong. Many fewer people, including among ethicists, agree that painlessly killing animals is necessarily wrong. The most commonly cited reason is that death (without pain, fear, distress) is not bad for them in a way that matters morally, or not as significantly as it does for persons, who are self-conscious, make long-term plans and have preferences about their own future. Animals, at least those that are not persons, lack a morally (...)
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  9. Interpersonal Comparisons of the Good: Epistemic Not Impossible.Mathew Coakley - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (3):288-313.
    To evaluate the overall good/welfare of any action, policy or institutional choice we need some way of comparing the benefits and losses to those affected: we need to make interpersonal comparisons of the good/welfare. Yet sceptics have worried either: that such comparisons are impossible as they involve an impossible introspection across individuals, getting ; that they are indeterminate as individual-level information is compatible with a range of welfare numbers; or that they are metaphysically mysterious as they assume the existence either (...)
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  10. A Millian Objection to Reasons as Evidence.Guy Fletcher - 2013 - Utilitas 25 (3):417-420.
    Stephen Kearns and Daniel Star have recently proposed this thesis: [Reasons as Evidence: Necessarily, a fact F is a reason for an agent A to PHI.
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  11. A Welfarist Version of Harsanyi's Theorem.Claude D'Aspremont & Philippe Mongin - 2008 - In M. Salles and J. Weymark M. Fleurbaey (ed.), Justice, Political Liberalism, and Utilitarianism. Cambridge University Press. pp. Ch. 11.
    This is a chapter of a collective volume of Rawls's and Harsanyi's theories of distributive justice. It focuses on Harsanyi's important Social Aggregation Theorem and technically reconstructs it as a theorem in welfarist social choice.
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  12. Utilitarismo y Derechos Humanos: La Propuesta de John Stuart Mill.Íñigo Álvarez Gálvez - 2009 - Plaza y Valdés Editores.
    Se dice que el utilitarismo es incompatible con la defensa de los derechos humanos, pues la búsqueda del mayor bien para el mayor número que prescribe el utilitarismo, puede exigir, en ocasiones, pasar por encima de los derechos. Sin embargo, quizá sea posible ofrecer una solución al conflicto presentando una doctrina utilitarista, reconocible como tal, que sea lo suficientemente amplia como para dar cabida a los derechos. La presente obra tiene como objeto exponer la doctrina de John Stuart Mill como (...)
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  13. Intuitionism.Anthony Skelton - 2013 - In James Crimmins (ed.), Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Utilitarianism. Bloomsbury Academic.
    An opinionated encyclopedia entry detailing and evaluating the utilitarian engagement with intuitionism.
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  14. A Pluralistic Approach to Global Poverty.Carl Knight - 2008 - Review of International Studies 34 (4):713-33.
    A large proportion of humankind today lives in avoidable poverty. This article examines whether affluent individuals and governments have moral duties to change this situation. It is maintained that an alternative to the familiar accounts of transdomestic distributive justice and personal ethics put forward by writers such as Peter Singer, John Rawls, and Thomas Pogge is required, since each of these accounts fails to reflect the full range of relevant considerations. A better account would give some weight to overall utility, (...)
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  15. Utilitarianism and the Moral Significance of an Individual.James Cain - 2005 - Southwest Philosophy Review 21 (1):53-60.
    Classical utilitarianism attempts to reduce the moral significance of the individual to something more basic: the value of the individual is seen as fully grounded in considerations of utility maximization. This paper criticizes this aspect of utilitarianism and tries to do so through an appeal to considerations that would be acceptable to one who embraces utilitarianism. First, an example is developed in which (1) a pair of mutually exclusive actions each yield infinite utility; (2) neither action can be said to (...)
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  16. Utilitarianism and Dewey's “Three Independent Factors in Morals”.Guy Axtell - unknown
    The centennial of Dewey & Tuft’s Ethics (1908) provides a timely opportunity to reflect both on Dewey’s intellectual debt to utilitarian thought, and on his critique of it. In this paper I examine Dewey’s assessment of utilitarianism, but also his developing view of the good (ends; consequences), the right (rules; obligations) and the virtuous (approbations; standards) as “three independent factors in morals.” This doctrine (found most clearly in the 2nd edition of 1932) as I argue in the last sections, has (...)
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  17. On the Possibility of Nonaggregative Priority for the Worst Off.Marc Fleurbaey, Bertil Tungodden & Peter Vallentyne - 2009 - Social Philosophy and Policy 26 (1):258-285.
    We shall focus on moral theories that are solely concerned with promoting the benefits (e.g., wellbeing) of individuals and explore the possibility of such theories ascribing some priority to benefits to those who are worse off—without this priority being absolute. Utilitarianism (which evaluates alternatives on the basis of total or average benefits) ascribes no priority to the worse off, and leximin (which evaluates alternatives by giving lexical priority to the worst off, and then the second worst off, and so on) (...)
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  18. Do Abnormal Responses Show Utilitarian Bias?Nicholas Shackel & Guy Kahane - 2008 - Nature 452:E5.
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  19. The Impartial Observer Theorem of Social Ethics.Philippe Mongin - 2001 - Economics and Philosophy 17 (2):147-179.
    Following a long-standing philosophical tradition, impartiality is a distinctive and determining feature of moral judgments, especially in matters of distributive justice. This broad ethical tradition was revived in welfare economics by Vickrey, and above all, Harsanyi, under the form of the so-called Impartial Observer Theorem. The paper offers an analytical reconstruction of this argument and a step-wise philosophical critique of its premisses. It eventually provides a new formal version of the theorem based on subjective probability.
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  20. Rule-Utilitarianism and the Slippery Slope.Gregory W. Trianosky - 1978 - Journal of Philosophy 75 (8):414-424.
    It is sometimes said that permitting, say, voluntary euthanasia would erode the motivations and inhibitions supporting other, legitimate prohibitions on killing to the point where widespread disregard for the moral law would result. this paper discusses the relevance of such "slippery slope" arguments for the rule-utilitarian who claims that we can assess moral rules by asking whether their acceptance would maximize utility. first it is argued that any normative theory of this type cannot recognize slope arguments as legitimate considerations in (...)
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Act- and Rule-Utilitarianism
  1. Una crítica al compatibilismo milleano, entre el utilitarismo y el ius naturalismo.Fabio Morandín-Ahuerma & Jaime Salazar-Morales - 2020 - Derecho y Cambio Social 61:10-16.
    Los autores hacen en este ensayo un análisis crítico del texto original de John Stuart Mill [1861/1863] titulado “El utilitarismo”, en el que el autor inglés busca hacer compatibles dos doctrinas: la doctrina del mayor bien para el mayor número de personas y, la doctrina del ius naturalismo que considera que existe un canon moral a priori que introduce conceptos absolutos como el bien intrínseco o el mal en sí como criterios para la toma de decisiones. En este trabajo, se (...)
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  2. Hedonistic Act Utilitarianism: Action Guidance and Moral Intuitions.Simon Rosenqvist - 2020 - Dissertation, Uppsala University
    According to hedonistic act utilitarianism, an act is morally right if and only if, and because, it produces at least as much pleasure minus pain as any alternative act available to the agent. This dissertation gives a partial defense of utilitarianism against two types of objections: action guidance objections and intuitive objections. In Chapter 1, the main themes of the dissertation are introduced. The chapter also examines questions of how to understand utilitarianism, including (a) how to best formulate the moral (...)
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  3. Valuing Humane Lives in Two-Level Utilitarianism.Nicolas Delon - 2020 - Utilitas:1-18.
    I examine the two-level utilitarian case for humane animal agriculture (by R. M. Hare and Gary Varner) and argue that it fails on its own terms. The case states that, at the ‘intuitive level’ of moral thinking, we can justify raising and killing animals for food, regarding them as replaceable, while treating them with respect. I show that two-level utilitarianism supports, instead, alternatives to animal agriculture. First, the case for humane animal agriculture does not follow from a commitment to two-level (...)
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  4. Wouldn't It Be Nice? Moral Rules and Distant Worlds.Abelard Podgorski - 2018 - Noûs 52 (2):279-294.
    Traditional rule consequentialism faces a problem sometimes called the ideal world objection—the worry that by looking only at the consequences in worlds where rules are universally adhered to, the theory fails to account for problems that arise because adherence to rules in the real world is inevitably imperfect. In response, recent theorists have defended sophisticated versions of rule consequentialism which are sensitive to the consequences in worlds with less utopian levels of adherence. In this paper, I argue that these attempts (...)
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  5. Moral Rules, Utilitarianism and Schizophrenic Moral Education.Kevin McDonough - 1992 - Philosophy of Education 26 (1):75-89.
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  6. Measuring the Consequences of Rules: Holly M. Smith.Holly M. Smith - 2010 - Utilitas 22 (4):413-433.
    Recently two distinct forms of rule-utilitarianism have been introduced that differ on how to measure the consequences of rules. Brad Hooker advocates fixed-rate rule-utilitarianism, while Michael Ridge advocates variable-rate rule-utilitarianism. I argue that both of these are inferior to a new proposal, optimum-rate rule-utilitarianism. According to optimum-rate rule-utilitarianism, an ideal code is the code whose optimum acceptance level is no lower than that of any alternative code. I then argue that all three forms of rule-utilitarianism fall prey to two fatal (...)
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  7. Act Utilitarianism.Ben Eggleston - 2014 - In Ben Eggleston & Dale E. Miller (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Utilitarianism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 125-145.
    An overview (about 8,000 words) of act utilitarianism, covering the basic idea of the theory, historical examples, how it differs from rule utilitarianism and motive utilitarianism, supporting arguments, and standard objections. A closing section provides a brief introduction to indirect utilitarianism (i.e., a Hare- or Railton-style view distinguishing between a decision procedure and a criterion of rightness).
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  8. "Utilitarianism and Fairness".Brad Hooker - unknown
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  9. Is Artificial Intelligence A Threat?Ruel F. Pepa - manuscript
    On the one hand, people have witnessed a lot of amazing technological inventions and innovations in the multifaceted performances of artificial intelligence systems ever since the earliest stages of their development. Activities previously done with a lot of manual and muscular efforts are now accomplished with no sweat and just at the tip of one’s finger. I would venture to say that artificial intelligence is among the highest scientific and technological achievements of humanity in the post-modern civilization. Yet on the (...)
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  10. Język a Utylitaryzm. Filozofia Moralna Richarda M. Hare'a.Krzysztof Saja - 2008 - Aureus.
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  11. On Knaves and Rules. (An Approach to the 'Sensible Knave' Problem From a Tempered Rule Utilitarianism).José L. Tasset - 2011 - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 52:117-140.
    In the attempt of defending an interpretation of David Hume's moral and political philosophy connected to classical utilitarianism, intervenes in a key way the so called problem of the " Sensitive Knave " raised by this author at the end of his more utilitarian work, the Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. According to the classic interpretation of this fragment, the utilitarian rationality in politics would clash with morality turning useless the latter. Therefore, in the political area the defense of (...)
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  12. Ideal Moral Codes.Duncan MacIntosh - 1990 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):389-408.
    Ideal rule utilitarianism says that a moral code C is correct if its acceptance maximizes utility; and that right action is compliance with C. But what if we cannot accept C? Rawls and L. Whitt suggest that C is correct if accepting C maximizes among codes we can accept; and that right action is compliance with C. But what if merely reinforcing a code we can't accept would maximize? G. Trianosky suggests that C is correct if reinforcing it maximizes; and (...)
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  13. On the Rationalist Solution to Gregory Kavka's Toxin Puzzle.Ken Levy - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (2):267-289.
    Gregory Kavka's 'Toxin Puzzle' suggests that I cannot intend to perform a counter-preferential action A even if I have a strong self-interested reason to form this intention. The 'Rationalist Solution,' however, suggests that I can form this intention. For even though it is counter-preferential, A-ing is actually rational given that the intention behind it is rational. Two arguments are offered for this proposition that the rationality of the intention to A transfers to A-ing itself: the 'Self-Promise Argument' and David Gauthier's (...)
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  14. Variable Versus Fixed-Rate Rule-Utilitarianism.Brad Hooker & Guy Fletcher - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (231):344–352.
    Fixed-rate versions of rule-consequentialism and rule-utilitarianism evaluate rules in terms of the expected net value of one particular level of social acceptance, but one far enough below 100% social acceptance to make salient the complexities created by partial compliance. Variable-rate versions of rule-consequentialism and rule-utilitarianism instead evaluate rules in terms of their expected net value at all different levels of social acceptance. Brad Hooker has advocated a fixed-rate version. Michael Ridge has argued that the variable-rate version is better. The debate (...)
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1 — 50 / 389