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
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11017-005-3983-y
 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.
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

98 ( #46,933 of 1,926,208 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

24 ( #22,116 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.