Chapter

LIMITS OF UTILITY

David Lyons

in Forms and Limits of Utilitarianism

Published in print November 1965 | ISBN: 9780198241973
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191724817 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198241973.003.0005
LIMITS OF UTILITY

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If the generalization test is to have the special point one often thinks it has – a point or force that sets it off from, say, Act-Utilitarianism – then one must bring in factors other than utility. This chapter suggests the relevance of non-utilitarian principles or arguments that can be called forth by the generalization test. These arguments mainly concern justice and fairness. The presentation here is more speculative than in the preceding chapters. It suggests the conditions necessary for an appeal to fairness or justice, gives an account of one such argument that cannot be reduced to utilitarian considerations, and suggests several different auxiliary arguments and principles that may be relevant. The first section deals with arguments from fairness and the second describes the practice conception of promising.

Keywords: fairness; promising; generalization test; Act-Utilitarianism; justice

Chapter.  14287 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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