Chapter

The Transition to Utilitarianism

J. B. Schneewind

in Sidgwick's Ethics and Victorian Moral Philosophy

Published in print November 1986 | ISBN: 9780198249313
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598357 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198249314.003.0012
 The Transition to Utilitarianism

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The transition from unexamined, unsystematized, positive moral opinion towards a fully examined rational morality begins with a critique of common sense morality. The second step in the transition is to determine first moral principles of a kind common sense cannot provide. As part of this step, Sidgwick obtains basic axioms for a maximizing consequentialist ethical theory. The nature of the good, which the axioms require rational agents to maximize, must be determined. This chapter examines how this part of the transition is carried out.

Keywords: Sidgwick; utilitarianism; common sense morality; moral principles

Chapter.  7603 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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