Variable versus fixed-rate rule-utilitarianism

Philosophical Quarterly 58 (231):344–352 (2008)
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Abstract
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 continues here. Of particular interest is the difference between the implications of Hooker's and Ridge's rules about doing good for others.
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