Utilitarianism

Edited by Anthony Skelton (University of Western Ontario)
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  1. From Utilitarianism to Prioritarianism – an Empathy-Based Internalist Foundation of Welfare Ethics.Christoph Lumer - 2021 - In Michael Schefczyk & Christoph Schmidt-Petri (eds.), Utility, Progress, Technology. Karlsruhe, Germany: KIT Scientific Publishing. pp. 139-151.
    The article develops an internalist justification of welfare ethics based on empathy. It takes up Hume’s and Schopenhauer’s internalistic (but not consistently developed) justification approach via empathy, but tries to solve three of their problems: 1. the varying strength of empathy depending on the proximity to the object of empathy, 2. the unclear metaethical foundation, 3. the absence of a quantitative model of empathy strength. 1. As a solution to the first problem, the article proposes to limit the foundation of (...)
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  2. バーナード・ウィリアムズの功利主義批判再考 (Bernard Williams’ Critique of Utilitarianism Reconsidered).Kazuki Watanabe - 2021 - Japanese Student Research Notes of Philosophy of Science 4:17-25.
    This research discusses Bernard Williams' critique of utilitarianism. I will address Williams' well-known “Integrity Objection” and clarify where his main issue with utilitarianism lies. Through this, I will demonstrate that the separation of the two viewpoints – the “inside viewpoint” and the “impartial viewpoint” - is the issue, as the utilitarian impartial viewpoint does not capture the value of ethical deliberations based on our inside viewpoint in which we presuppose our personal projects. Furthermore, I will argue that this interpretation enables (...)
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  3. Trolleys, Triage and Covid-19: The Role of Psychological Realism in Sacrificial Dilemmas.Markus Kneer & Ivar R. Hannikainen - 2021 - Cognition and Emotion 8.
    At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, frontline medical professionals at intensive care units around the world faced gruesome decisions about how to ration life-saving medical resources. These events provided a unique lens through which to understand how the public reasons about real-world dilemmas involving trade-offs between human lives. In three studies (total N = 2298), we examined people’s moral attitudes toward triage of acute coronavirus patients, and found elevated support for utilitarian triage policies. These utilitarian tendencies did not stem (...)
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  4. 80,000 Hours for the Common Good: A Thomistic Appraisal of Effective Altruism.Ryan Miller - forthcoming - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association.
    Effective Altruism is a rapidly growing and influential contemporary philosophical movement committed to updating utilitarianism in both theory and practice. The movement focuses on identifying urgent but neglected causes and inspiring supererogatory giving to meet the need. It also tries to build a broader coalition by adopting a more ecumenical approach to ethics which recognizes a wide range of values and moral constraints. These interesting developments distinguish Effective Altruism from the utilitarianism of the past in ways that invite cooperation and (...)
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  5. Two Pessimisms in Mill.Joshua Fox - 2021 - Utilitas 33 (4):442-457.
    Mill defines utilitarianism as the combination of a “theory of life” and a moral claim: only pleasure and freedom from pain are desirable as ends, and the promotion of happiness is the sole goal of moral action. So defined, utilitarianism is open to ad hominem pessimistic objection: a “theory of life” which entails the impossibility of happiness fits poorly with a morality centered on its promotion. The first two challenges Mill confronts in Utilitarianism share this pessimistic structure. Interestingly, however, these (...)
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  6. Frege’s Puzzle and the Ex Ante Pareto Principle.Anna Mahtani - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):2077-2100.
    The ex ante Pareto principle has an intuitive pull, and it has been a principle of central importance since Harsanyi’s defence of utilitarianism. The principle has been used to criticize and refine a range of positions in welfare economics, including egalitarianism and prioritarianism. But this principle faces a serious problem. I have argued elsewhere :303-323 2017) that the concept of ex ante Pareto superiority is not well defined, because its application in a choice situation concerning a fixed population can depend (...)
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  7. Calibrating Variable-Value Population Ethics.Dean Spears & H. Orri Stefansson - manuscript
    Variable-Value axiologies propose solutions to the challenges of population ethics. These views avoid Parfit's Repugnant Conclusion, while satisfying some weak instances of the Mere Addition principle (for example, at small population sizes). We apply calibration methods to Variable-Value views while assuming: first, some very weak instances of Mere Addition, and, second, some plausible empirical assumptions about the size and welfare of the intertemporal world population. We find that Variable-Value views imply conclusions that should seem repugnant to anyone who opposes Total (...)
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  8. Aggregation Without Interpersonal Comparisons of Well‐Being.Jacob M. Nebel - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    This paper is about the role of interpersonal comparisons in Harsanyi's aggregation theorem. Harsanyi interpreted his theorem to show that a broadly utilitarian theory of distribution must be true even if there are no interpersonal comparisons of well-being. How is this possible? The orthodox view is that it is not. Some argue that the interpersonal comparability of well-being is hidden in Harsanyi's premises. Others argue that it is a surprising conclusion of Harsanyi's theorem, which is not presupposed by any one (...)
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  9. Will Carbon Taxes Help Address Climate Change?Kian Mintz-Woo - 2021 - Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 16 (1):57-67.
    The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis ought to serve as a reminder about the costs of failure to consider another long-term risk, climate change. For this reason, it is imperative to consider the merits of policies that may help to limit climate damages. This essay rebuts three common objections to carbon taxes: (1) that they do not change behaviour, (2) that they generate unfair burdens and increase inequality, and (3) that fundamental, systemic change is needed instead of carbon taxes. The (...)
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  10. Una interpretación ironista y utilitaria del problema del yo en David Hume.Mario Edmundo Chávez Tortolero - 2020 - In Laguna, Rogelio y Gömez Salazar, Mónica, "Sofística y pragmatismo: la praxis ante el problema de la verdad".
    En este texto se aborda el problema del yo en David Hume, Para comprender la inconsistencia del pensamiento de Hume en lo tocante a la identidad personal, misma que ha sido señalada por diversos comentaristas, nos serviremos de dos conceptos: la ironía y el utilitarismo. El primero nos permitirá ver más allá de las propias afirmaciones de Hume para descubrir un conjunto de temas, problemas y elementos teóricos implícitos y poco desarrollados por él mismo, pero muy prolíficos en los estudios (...)
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  11. Em defesa de um conceito pluralista de felicidade, a partir de Stuart Mill.Sagid Salles & D. G. Alves Júnior - 2008 - Revista da Pesquisa and Pós-Graduação (UFOP) 8 (2):40-45.
    O objetivo deste texto é responder a uma objeção comum à doutrina utilitarista. Essa doutrina é comumente descrita como aquela que aceita que a ação moralmente correta é a que promove a maior felicidade possível para as pessoas envolvidas. A objeção que trabalhamos aqui nega a afirmação utilitarista de que a felicidade é o único fim da vida humana. Diferentes respostas podem ser formuladas de acordo com o modo que definimos o bem ou a felicidade. Sustentaremos que a versão da (...)
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  12. The Arguments of On Liberty: Mill's Institutional Designs.Piers Norris Turner - 2020 - Nineteenth-Century Prose 47 (1):121-156.
    This paper addresses the question of whether all that unites the main parts of John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty—the liberty principle, the defense of free discussion, the promotion of individuality, and the claims concerning individual competence about one’s own good—is a general concern with individual liberty, or whether we can say something more concrete about how they are related. I attempt to show that the arguments of On Liberty exemplify Mill’s institutional design approach set out in Considerations of Representative Government (...)
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  13. The Tension Between Divine Command Theory and Utilitarianism in Mozi and George Berkeley: A Comparison.Michael Hemmingsen - 2020 - Philosophy East and West 70 (3):740-756.
    Mozi and George Berkeley are philosophers who are not often put into conversation. However, I argue that comparing them can shed some light on the relationship between certain philosophical positions and their resulting moral philosophies. Specifically, I will draw attention to the way that their lack of interest in an appearance-reality distinction and in "essence" gives rise to a tension between consequentialism and divine command theory. These similarities exist despite the fact that Mozi and Berkeley otherwise have quite distinct views. (...)
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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. Aggregation for Potentially Infinite Populations Without Continuity or Completeness.David McCarthy, Kalle M. Mikkola & J. Teruji Thomas - 2019 - arXiv:1911.00872 [Econ.TH].
    We present an abstract social aggregation theorem. Society, and each individual, has a preorder that may be interpreted as expressing values or beliefs. The preorders are allowed to violate both completeness and continuity, and the population is allowed to be infinite. The preorders are only assumed to be represented by functions with values in partially ordered vector spaces, and whose product has convex range. This includes all preorders that satisfy strong independence. Any Pareto indifferent social preorder is then shown to (...)
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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. Science and Ethics: Tracing Parallels and Contrasts Between Science, Relativism and Utilitarianism.Louis Caruana - 2006 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 62 (1):119-136.
    In its first section, dedicated to the topic science and relativism, the article argues against those who hold that science is absolutist while ethics is relativist. The point made is that the two disciplines are not all that different. There is an element of objectivity and an element of relativity in both. The article insists that there are two plausible ways in which these elements may be appreciated in both disciplines. The first way involves an analysis of precedents; the second (...)
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  28. 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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  29. Henry Sidgwick, 1838-1900.Anthony Skelton - 2002 - In J. Mander & A. P. F. Sell (eds.), The Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century British Philosophers. Thoemmes Press.
    Dictionary entry written on Henry Sidgwick, which surveys the main features of his moral framework.
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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. Do Abnormal Responses Show Utilitarian Bias?Nicholas Shackel & Guy Kahane - 2008 - Nature 452:E5.
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  33. 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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  34. 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. Utility, Progress, and Technology: Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies.Michael Schefczyk & Christoph Schmidt-Petri (eds.) - 2021 - Karlsruhe: KIT Scientific Publishing.
    This volume collects selected papers delivered at the 15th Conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies, which was held at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in July 2018. It includes papers dealing with the past, present, and future of utilitarianism – the theory that human happiness is the fundamental moral value – as well as on its applications to animal ethics, population ethics, and the future of humanity, among other topics.
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  2. Interim Corpus Separatum for the Palestine Question. [REVIEW]Ciprian Pater - manuscript
    "Resolution of Jerusalem’s status arguably remains controversial because of the divergent analytical lenses through which the conflict’s parties, and others, view its intertwined legal, territorial, historical and religious issues. Thus, Jerusalem persists as an intricate and intractable cornerstone of the Israel-Palestine conflict." Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Resource Centre.
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  3. Act Consequentialism Without Free Rides.Preston Greene & Benjamin A. Levinstein - 2020 - Philosophical Perspectives 34 (1):88-116.
    Consequentialist theories determine rightness solely based on real or expected consequences. Although such theories are popular, they often have difficulty with generalizing intuitions, which demand concern for questions like “What if everybody did that?” Rule consequentialism attempts to incorporate these intuitions by shifting the locus of evaluation from the consequences of acts to those of rules. However, detailed rule-consequentialist theories seem ad hoc or arbitrary compared to act consequentialist ones. We claim that generalizing can be better incorporated into consequentialism by (...)
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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Valuing Humane Lives in Two-Level Utilitarianism.Nicolas Delon - 2020 - Utilitas 32 (3):276-293.
    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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  7. 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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  8. Moral Rules, Utilitarianism and Schizophrenic Moral Education.Kevin Mcdonough - 1992 - Philosophy of Education 26 (1):75-89.
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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. Utilitarianism and Fairness.Brad Hooker - unknown
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  12. 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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  13. Język a Utylitaryzm. Filozofia Moralna Richarda M. Hare'a.Krzysztof Saja - 2008 - Aureus.
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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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