David O. Brink

in Perfectionism and the Common Good

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780199266401
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191600906 | DOI:

Series: Lines of Thought


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This chapter focuses on Green's views on utilitarianism and his own ethics of self-realization. It argues that both Green's ethics of self-realization and self-referential altruism are agent-relative in so far as they claim that an agent's reasons to be concerned about someone depend essentially on the nature of the relationship that exists between the agent and that person. If so, then even if much of Green's perfectionist critique of hedonistic utilitarianism is compatible with a perfectionist utilitarianism, there are important strands in his conception and justification of the common good that do not admit of utilitarian interpretation.

Keywords: T. H. Green; utilitarianism; self-realization; self-referential altruism; hedonism

Chapter.  2815 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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