Utilitarianism and Rights

Kaushik Basu

in Prelude to Political Economy

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780198296713
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191595943 | DOI:
 Utilitarianism and Rights

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This chapter examines utilitarianism and consequentialism as moral principles of decision-making, and the scope of rights and individual liberty. It argues that it is possible to distinguish between anti-consequentalism and rule-consequentalism, and that rule-consequentalism should be followed in such situations. Adherence of utilitarianism must not be understood as using the utilitarian principle for every decision in all walks of life. It is proposed that rule utilitarianism is compatible with legal rights.

Keywords: utilitarianism; consequentalism; decision-making; rights; individual liberty; moral behaviour

Chapter.  8531 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Microeconomics

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