Utilitarianism

Edited by Anthony Skelton (University of Western Ontario)
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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. Aggregation Without Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being.Jake 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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  4. Will Carbon Taxes Help Address Climate Change?Kian Mintz-Woo - 2021 - Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 16 (1):24-34.
    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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. Do Abnormal Responses Show Utilitarian Bias?Nicholas Shackel & Guy Kahane - 2008 - Nature 452:E5.
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  26. 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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  27. 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. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Moral Rules, Utilitarianism and Schizophrenic Moral Education.Kevin Mcdonough - 1992 - Philosophy of Education 26 (1):75-89.
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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. Utilitarianism and Fairness.Brad Hooker - 2014 - In B. Eggleston & D. Miller (eds.), Cambridge Companion to Utilitarianism. pp. 280-302.
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  10. 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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  11. Język a Utylitaryzm. Filozofia Moralna Richarda M. Hare'a.Krzysztof Saja - 2008 - Aureus.
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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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Varieties of Utilitarianism
  1. Additively-Separable and Rank-Discounted Variable-Population Social Welfare Functions: A Characterization.Dean Spears & H. Orri Stefansson - forthcoming - Economic Letters.
    Economic policy evaluations require social welfare functions for variable-size populations. Two important candidates are critical-level generalized utilitarianism (CLGU) and rank-discounted critical-level generalized utilitarianism, which was recently characterized by Asheim and Zuber (2014) (AZ). AZ introduce a novel axiom, existence of egalitarian equivalence (EEE). First, we show that, under some uncontroversial criteria for a plausible social welfare relation, EEE suffices to rule out the Repugnant Conclusion of population ethics (without AZ’s other novel axioms). Second, we provide a new characterization of CLGU: (...)
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  2. Norcross, Alastair. Morality by Degrees: Reasons Without Demands. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020. Pp. 176. $50.00 (Cloth). [REVIEW]Richard Yetter Chappell - 2021 - Ethics 131 (3):620-624.
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  3. Non-Additive Axiologies in Large Worlds.Christian Tarsney & Teruji Thomas - manuscript
    Is the overall value of a world just the sum of values contributed by each value-bearing entity in that world? Additively separable axiologies (like total utilitarianism, prioritarianism, and critical level views) say 'yes', but non-additive axiologies (like average utilitarianism, rank-discounted utilitarianism, and variable value views) say 'no'. This distinction is practically important: additive axiologies support 'arguments from astronomical scale' which suggest (among other things) that it is overwhelmingly important for humanity to avoid premature extinction and ensure the existence of a (...)
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  4. Utilitarismo.Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 1996 - In Virgilio Melchiorre (ed.), Enciclopedia della Filosofia e delle Scienze Umane. Novara, Italy: De Agostini. pp. 1046.
    A short presentation of the birth and transformations of utilitarianism.
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  5. Average Utilitarianism Implies Solipsistic Egoism.Christian Tarsney - manuscript
    Average utilitarianism and several related axiologies, when paired with the standard expectational theory of decision-making under risk and with reasonable empirical credences, can find their practical prescriptions overwhelmingly determined by the minuscule probability that the agent assigns to solipsism -- i.e., to the hypothesis that there is only one welfare subject in the world, viz., herself. This either (i) constitutes a reductio of these axiologies, (ii) suggests that they require bespoke decision theories, or (iii) furnishes a novel argument for ethical (...)
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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. The World Destruction Argument.Simon Knutsson - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    The most common argument against negative utilitarianism is the world destruction argument, according to which negative utilitarianism implies that if someone could kill everyone or destroy the world, it would be her duty to do so. Those making the argument often endorse some other form of consequentialism, usually traditional utilitarianism. It has been assumed that negative utilitarianism is less plausible than such other theories partly because of the world destruction argument. So, it is thought, someone who finds theories in the (...)
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  8. Utilitarianism and its British Nineteenth-Century Critics.Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 2008 - Notizie di Politeia. Rivista di Etica E Scelte Pubbliche 24 (90):31-49.
    I try to reconstruct the hidden agenda of nineteenth-century British controversy between Utilitarianism and Intuitionism, going beyond the image, successfully created by the two Mills, of a battle between Prejudice and Reason. When examined in depth, competing philosophical outlooks turn out to be more research programs than self-contained doctrinal bodies, and such programs appear to be implemented, and indeed radically transformed while in progress thanks to their enemies no less than to their supporters. Controversies, the propelling devices of research programs, (...)
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