Chapter

Utilitarianism

R. M. Hare

in Freedom and Reason

Published in print June 1965 | ISBN: 9780198810926
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597589 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019881092X.003.0007
 Utilitarianism

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Through consideration of another practical case, this chapter opens the way to a generalization of the method of argument outlined previously. Multilateral cases raise the question of how the interests of all parties can be resolved into a determinate moral conclusion, which brings the discussion to a standpoint that has affinities with classical utilitarianism. Like the principle of universalizability, the form of the utilitarian principle espoused is purely logical. In both cases, the moral substance comes from fleshing out the parties’ actual inclinations and interests. The chapter embarks on a short survey of the challenges faced by a utilitarian system of this kind, before considering the concept of happiness, act‐utilitarianism, and rule‐utilitarianism.

Keywords: act‐utilitarianism; happiness; rule‐utilitarianism; utilitarianism

Chapter.  9263 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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