Ideal Utilitarianism: Rashdall and Moore

In Thomas Hurka (ed.), Underivative Duty: British Moral Philosophers From Sidgwick to Ewing. Oxford University Press. pp. 45-65 (2011)
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Abstract

Ideal utilitarianism states that the only fundamental requirement of morality is to promote a plurality of intrinsic goods. This paper critically evaluates Hastings Rashdall’s arguments for ideal utilitarianism, while comparing them with G. E. Moore’s arguments. Section I outlines Rashdall’s ethical outlook. Section II considers two different arguments that he provides for its theory of rightness. Section III discusses his defence of a pluralist theory of value. Section IV argues that Rashdall makes a lasting contribution to the defence of ideal utilitarianism.

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Anthony Skelton
University of Western Ontario

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