Informed Altruism and Utilitarianism

Social Theory and Practice 47 (4):717-746 (2021)
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Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory that assigns value impartially to the well-being of each person. Informed Altruism, introduced in this paper, is an intentionalist theory that relegates both consequentialism and impartiality to subordinate roles. It identifies morally right or commendable actions (including collective actions such as laws and policies) as those motivated by a sufficiently informed intention to benefit and not harm others. An implication of the theory is that multiple agents may perform incompatible actions and yet each be acting rightly in a moral sense.

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Brian Rosebury
University of Central Lancashire


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