Chapter

The Nature of Intuitive-Level System (ILS) Rules

Gary E. Varner

in Personhood, Ethics, and Animal Cognition

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199758784
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949465 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199758784.003.0003
The Nature of Intuitive-Level System (ILS) Rules

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Hare argues that good utilitarian reasons can be given for not thinking like utilitarians in most normal situations, where several different kinds of rules should be adhered to. This chapter focuses on this “intuitive level thinking,” emphasizing the complications that it introduces into a utilitarian analysis of a situation, and how the resulting subtleties bring a utilitarian analysis closer to common sense. There are four categories of such rules: the common morality of a society, which are not formally stated but which are widely embraced and understood as binding on all members; codes of professional ethics, which are explicitly stated but understood to be binding only on members of particular professions; laws, which are both explicitly stated and binding on all; and personal morality, which is binding only on the individual and may or may not be formally stated.

Keywords: utilitarianism; R.M. Hare; moral thinking; professional ethics; common morality

Chapter.  11392 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy

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