Abstract
In this paper I argue for the following conclusions: 1. The widely shared beliefs that in utilitarianism and consequentialism (a) the good has priority over the right and (b) the right is derived from the good, are both false. 2. The most plausible components of utilitarianism that are used to present it as an intuitively compelling moral theory - welfarism, consequentialism and maximization - do not in fact support utilitarianism because they do not establish that the best state of affairs is the one with the highest sum total of the non-moral good. These components cannot determine which state of affairs is the best and therefore leave it entirely open whether one should opt for distribution-insensitive utilitarianism or a distribution-sensitive welfarist consequentialism. Since this is left open, it is not the case that distribution-insensitive utilitarianism is the default option and every deviation from it towards a more just distribution needs to be defended against utilitarianism. Rather, in light of our moral intuitions and the persistence of the objection from justice against utilitarianism, it seems to be the other way round, that distribution-sensitivity is the default option and any deviation from it bears the burden of proof.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/00201740801956812
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,130
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

Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics.L. W. Sumner - 1996 - Oxford University Press.
Utilitarianism and Welfarism.Amartya Sen - 1979 - Journal of Philosophy 76 (9):463-489.
Consequentialism.Philip Pettit - 1991 - Dartmouth Publishing Company.

View all 28 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Utilitarianism.Nikil Mukerji - 2013 - In Christoph Lütge (ed.), Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics. Springer. pp. 297-313.
Gender Issues in Corporate Leadership.Devora Shapiro & Marilea Bramer - 2013 - Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics:1177-1189.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-05-20

Total views
103 ( #113,685 of 2,506,473 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #140,084 of 2,506,473 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes