David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Utilitas 18 (2):134-153 (2006)
William Godwin is often cited in contemporary philosophical discussions of ethical impartiality, within which he functions as a sort of shorthand for a particularly crude and extreme act-utilitarianism, one that contains no foundational commitments other than the maximizing of some conception of the general good. This article offers a reinterpretation of Godwin's argument, by focusing closely on the ambiguous nature of its justificatory foundations. Although utilitarian political theories seem to have two possible justifications available to them – egalitarian and teleological – there has been little effort to establish which one of them Godwin's argument for impartiality relies on. This problem becomes more complicated when it is acknowledged that Godwin actually provides two different justifications for impartiality, only one of which is consequentialist. The other seems to make a case based on the recognition of moral worth and virtue. This is something confirmed through analysis of Godwin's writings on equality and suggests his political theory is more complex than most philosophers are willing to admit.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Robert Garner (2012). Much Ado About Nothing?: Barry, Justice and Animals. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 15 (3):363-376.
Ian Harris (1995). The Adventures of William Godwin. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 3 (2):421 – 440.
H. D. Lewis (1955). Godwin's Moral Philosophy: An Interpretation of William Godwin. By D. H. Monro. (Oxford University Press. 1953. Pp. 205. Price 15s.). [REVIEW] Philosophy 30 (112):89-.
Diane Jeske (1997). Friendship, Virtue, and Impartiality. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (1):51-72.
William Godwin (1993/1999). Political and Philosophical Writings of William Godwin. Pickering & Chatto.
Monique Deveaux (2003). Susan Mendus, Impartiality in Moral and Political Philosophy:Impartiality in Moral and Political Philosophy. Ethics 113 (4):895-898.
Peter Jones (1998). Political Theory and Cultural Diversity. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 1 (1):28-62.
Willard O. Eddy (1954). Book Review:Godwin's Moral Philosophy: An Interpretation of William Godwin. D. H. Monro. [REVIEW] Ethics 64 (2):134-.
Eva Erman (2007). Conflict and Universal Moral Theory: From Reasonableness to Reason-Giving. Political Theory 35 (5):598 - 623.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads41 ( #96,164 of 1,789,791 )
Recent downloads (6 months)20 ( #40,109 of 1,789,791 )
How can I increase my downloads?