Repugnant Desires and the Two-Tier Conception of Utility

Utilitas 6 (2):171 (1994)

Madison Powers
Georgetown University
An important objection to many utilitarian theories is that their conceptions of utility may count as morally relevant contributions to individual well-being items which are morally or rationally suspect. For example, if the conception of utility is pleasure, or alternatively, the fulfilment of actual desire or satisfaction of preferences, then greater individual utility may be produced by whatever increases pleasure, fulfils desire, or satisfies someone's preferences. This is true no matter how disgusting or vile we may think such pleasures are, or how irrational or distasteful we find the fulfilment of a desire or the satisfaction of some preference
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DOI 10.1017/s0953820800001540
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