Introducing variable-rate rule-utilitarianism

Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):242–253 (2006)
The basic idea of rule-utilitarianism is that right action should be defined in terms of what would be required by rules which would maximize either actual or expected utility if those rules gained general acceptance, or perhaps general compliance. Rule-utilitarians face a dilemma. They must characterize 'general acceptance' either as 100% acceptance, or as something less. On the first horn of the dilemma, rule-utilitarianism in vulnerable to the charge of utopianism; on the second, it is open to the charge of arbitrariness and lack of philosophical depth. I press this objection, and develop and defend an alternative version of rule-utilitarianism which can evade the dilemma. I call this new version 'variable-rate rule-utilitarianism'
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9213.2006.00440.x
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Christopher Woodard (2008). A New Argument Against Rule Consequentialism. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (3):247 - 261.
Leonard Kahn (2012). Rule Consequentialism and Scope. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5):631-646.

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