Kotarbinski's Early Criticism of Utilitarianism

Utilitas 12 (1):79 (2000)
Apart from a short introduction, this contribution consists of a translation of Tadeusz Kotarbinski’s “Utilitarianism and The Ethics of Pity”. In that very concise and relatively unknown early note, written before he embarked on his long and influential career as a nominalist logician and philosopher of science, Kotarbinski had formulated four astonishingly ‘modern’ objections to utilitarianism. Unlike Christian ‘ethics of pity’, utilitarian ethics disregards the normative importance of the distinction between preventing suffering and promoting happiness, leaves no room for supererogation, leaves no room for agent-relativity in morality insofar as it disallows ‘inefficient’ self-sacrifice, and rejects the possibility of genuine ethical dilemmas. To what extent was Kotarbinski a pioneer in his critique? This question is posed but not answered
Keywords utilitarianism  Christian ethics  supererogation  utilitarianism  moral dilemmas
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0953820800002624
 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

No references found.

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

57 ( #84,531 of 1,902,524 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

20 ( #30,374 of 1,902,524 )

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.