Pettit on consequentialism and universalizability

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (3):261-275 (2005)
Abstract
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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