Peter Singer's argument for utilitarianism

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (3):175-194 (2005)
The paper begins by situating Singer within the British meta-ethical tradition. It sets out the main steps in his argument for utilitarianism as the ‘default setting’ of ethical thought. It argues that Singer’s argument depends on a hierarchy of reasons, such that the ethical viewpoint is understood to be an adaptation – an extension – of a fundamental self-interest. It concludes that the argument fails because it is impossible to get from this starting-point in self-interest to his conception of the ethical point of view. The fundamental problem is its mixing the immiscible: the Humean subordination of reason to interest with the Kantian conception of reason as universal and authoritative.
Keywords moral point of view  self-interest  universalizability  utilitarianism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11017-005-3976-x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,316
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Peter Singer (1993). Practical Ethics. Cambridge University Press.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Keith Burgess-Jackson (2013). Taking Egoism Seriously. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):529-542.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

112 ( #39,491 of 1,926,208 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

20 ( #29,974 of 1,926,208 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.