Pettit on consequentialism and universalizability

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (3):261-275 (2005)
Philip Pettit has argued that universalizability entails consequentialism. I criticise the argument for relying on a question-begging reading of the impartiality of universalization. A revised form of the argument can be constructed by relying on preference-satisfaction rationality, rather than on impartiality. But this revised argument succumbs to an ambiguity in the notion of a preference (or desire). I compare the revised argument to an earlier argument of Pettit’s for consequentialism that appealed to the theoretical virtue of simplicity, and I raise questions about the force of appeal to notions like simplicity and rationality in moral argument.
Keywords consequentialism  desire  impartiality  rationality  universalizability
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DOI 10.1007/s11017-005-3983-y
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References found in this work BETA
Peter Singer (1993). Practical Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
Philip Pettit (1997). The Consequentialist Perspective. In M. Baron, P. Pettit & M. Slote (eds.), Three Methods of Ethics. Blackwell
Timothy Chappell (2001). A Way Out of Pettit's Dilemma. Philosophical Quarterly 51 (202):95-99.

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