The Consistency of the Dual Standard

David Lyons

in In the Interest of the Governed

Published in print July 1991 | ISBN: 9780198239642
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679971 | DOI:
The Consistency of the Dual Standard

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This chapter addresses possible challenges to the dual standard ascribed to Bentham. Other things being equal, such an interpretation should be avoided; if there is an alternative way of reading the text that avoids imputing an incoherent view to Bentham, that alternative should be taken. The chapter considers two forms of such an objection, each employing a notion of moral ‘inconsistency’. It argues that the dual-standard interpretation of Bentham's utilitarianism cannot be rejected out of hand as untenable and must still be considered as a viable candidate.

Keywords: Bentham; dual standard; moral inconsistency; utilitarianism; law; obligation

Chapter.  5918 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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