David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Australasian Journal of Philosophy 71 (2):212 – 217 (1993)
Traditional act utilitarianism judges an action permissible just in case it produces as much aggregate utility as any alternative. It is often supposed that utilitarianism faces a serious problem if the future is infinitely long. For in that case, actions may produce an infinite amount of utility. And if that is so for most actions, then utilitarianism, it appears, loses most of its power to discriminate among actions. For, if most actions produce an infinite amount of utility, then few actions produce non-maximal utility, and so most actions are permissible.1 I will argue that potentially infinite futures create no major problems for utilitarianism. Utilitarianism has, I argue, the resources to distinguish among actions all of which produce infinite amounts of utility -- judging some permissible and some impermissible. For brevity of expression I will focus on act utilitarianism, but all the points apply equally well to many other traditional forms of utilitarianism
|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
Paul Bartha (2007). Taking Stock of Infinite Value: Pascal's Wager and Relative Utilities. Synthese 154 (1):5 - 52.
Luc Lauwers (1997). Infinite Utility: Insisting on Strong Monotonicity. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 75 (2):222 – 233.
Yew-Kwang Ng (1995). Infinite Utility and Van Liedekerke's Impossibility: A Solution. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (3):408 – 412.
Luc Van Liedekerke (1995). Should Utilitarians Be Cautious Aboutan Infinite Future? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (3):405 – 407.
Similar books and articles
Mathias Risse (2002). Harsanyi's 'Utilitarian Theorem' and Utilitarianism. Noûs 36 (4):550–577.
J. L. A. Garcia & Mark T. Nelson (1994). The Problem of Endless Joy: Is Infinite Utility Too Much for Utilitarianism? Utilitas 6 (02):183-.
Fred Feldman (2006). Actual Utility, the Objection From Impracticality, and the Move to Expected Utility. Philosophical Studies 129 (1):49 - 79.
Hermann Vetter (1969). IV. The Production of Children as a Problem of Utilitarian Ethics. Inquiry 12 (1-4):445-447.
Josh Parsons (2002). Axiological Actualism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (2):137 – 147.
Daniel Hunter (1994). Act Utilitarianism and Dynamic Deliberation. Erkenntnis 41 (1):1 - 35.
Peter Vallentyne (1995). Infinite Utility: Anonymity and Person-Centredness. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (3):413 – 420.
Peter Vallentyne (2009). Infinite Utility and Temporal Neutrality. Utilitas 6 (02):193-.
Mark T. Nelson (1991). Utilitarian Eschatology. American Philosophical Quarterly 28 (4):339-47.
Jean-Paul Vessel (2005). Consequentialist Reactions to Cain's Objection From the Individual. Southwest Philosophy Review 21 (2):139-144.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads38 ( #54,834 of 1,692,490 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #39,472 of 1,692,490 )
How can I increase my downloads?