Utilitarian Practical Ethics: Sidgwick and Singer

In Placido Bucolo, Roger Crisp & Bart Schultz (eds.), Henry Sidgwick: Ethics, Psychics, and Politics. Catania: University of Catania Press (2011)
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Abstract

It is often argued that Henry Sidgwick is a conservative about moral matters, while Peter Singer is a radical. Both are exponents of a utilitarian account of morality but they use it to very different effect. I think this way of viewing the two is mistaken or, at the very least, overstated. Sidgwick is less conservative than has been suggested and Singer is less radical than he initially seems. To illustrate my point, I will rely on what each has to say about the moral demands of suffering and destitution.

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Anthony Skelton
University of Western Ontario

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