DOI link for Classical utilitarianism
Classical utilitarianism book
This chapter examines utilitarian tradition offers four broad options: act-utilitarianism, indirect utilitarianism, rule-utilitarianism and institutional utilitarianism. The right act is the act that produces the most well-being. Indirect utilitarianism says both that the right act is whatever follows from the best utilitarian decision procedure; and that the best decision procedure diverges from the utilitarian criterion of Tightness. In addition to the intuitive problems, indirect utilitarianism has also been accused of failing in utilitarian terms. It faces two particular problems: parasitism and self-defeatingness. The most basic objection to rule-utilitarianism is the rule worship objection. Rule-utilitarianism begins with the standard utilitarian commitment to maximize happiness. Rule-utilitarianism has collapsed into act-utilitarianism. Hooker then argues that indirect utilitarianism is too difficult to follow and too psychologically alienating for human beings to accept. The standard objections to utilitarianism such as the injustice and demandingness objections are really aimed at act-utilitarianism. In contemporary moral philosophy, institutional utilitarianism is usually treated as a sub-topic within rule-utilitarianism.