Consequentialism and Respect: Two Strategies for Justifying Act Utilitarianism

Utilitas 32 (1):1-18 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Most arguments in support of act utilitarianism are elaborations of one of two basic strategies. One is the consequentialist strategy. This strategy relies on the consequentialist premise that an act is right if and only if it produces the best possible consequences and the welfarist premise that the value of a state of affairs is entirely determined by its overall amount of well-being. The other strategy is based on the idea of treating individuals respectfully and resolving conflicts among individuals in whatever way best conforms to that idea. Although both of these strategies can be used to argue for the principle of act utilitarianism, they are significantly different from each other, and these differences cause them to have different strengths and weaknesses. It emerges that which argumentative strategy is chosen by a proponent of act utilitarianism has a large impact on which virtues her view has and which objections it is vulnerable to.

Similar books and articles

Utilitarianism, Act and Rule.Stephen Nathanson - 2014 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Can an act-consequentialist theory be agent relative?Douglas Portmore - 2001 - American Philosophical Quarterly 38 (4):363-77.
Utilitarian alternatives to act utilitarianism.Sanford S. Levy - 1997 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (1):93–112.
Act Utilitarianism.Ben Eggleston - 2014 - In Ben Eggleston & Dale E. Miller (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Utilitarianism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 125-145.
Consequences in an act-utilitarianism.R. G. Frey - 1981 - Journal of Value Inquiry 15 (1):79-83.
Distributive Justice and Welfarism in Utilitarianism.Jörg Schroth - 2008 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):123-146.
Donagan On The Sins Of Consequentialism.Shelly Kagan - 1987 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):643-653.


Added to PP

2,042 (#4,585)

6 months
751 (#1,598)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ben Eggleston
University of Kansas

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations