Proofs of utilitarianism
DOI link for Proofs of utilitarianism
Proofs of utilitarianism book
This chapter focuses on a feature of utilitarianism that is attracting considerable attention in current moral theory: the fact that utilitarianism assumes that the only rational response to value is to promote it. Utilitarianism is consequentialism (morality promotes value) plus welfarism (value is aggregate human welfare). The defining feature of utilitarianism is the idea that morality is concerned with human welfare. Some consequentialists draw an analogy between moral rationality and individual rationality. Consequentialists often respond to the injustice and demandingness objections by combining different strategies. Separating utilitarianism from consequentialism opens up two new options: utilitarianism without consequentialism and consequentialism without utilitarianism. Simple consequentialism has five principal features: individualism, directness, act focus, maximization and impartiality. Best known example in contemporary moral philosophy is Michael Slote's satisficing consequentialism. Slote argues that consequentialist morality should be analogous to economic rationality. Satisficing consequentialism is the moral analogue of a familiar economic notion.