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)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 31,317
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Supererogation.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - In J. E. Crimmins & D. C. Long (eds.), Encyclopedia of Utilitarianism.
Supererogation for Utilitarianism.Jean-Paul Vessel - 2010 - American Philosophical Quarterly 47 (4):299 - 319.
Selected Essays.Michael Slote - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Should Utilitarianism Be Scalar?Gerald Lang - 2013 - Utilitas 25 (1):80-95.
Utilitarianism, Contractualism and Demandingness.Alison Hills - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239):225-242.
Moral Rules and Particular Circumstances.Baruch A. Brody - 1970 - Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall.
Sidgwickian Ethics.David Phillips - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
A Utilitarian Reply to Dr. McCloskey.T. L. S. Sprigge - 1965 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 8 (1-4):264 – 291.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
68 ( #86,197 of 2,223,727 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #140,172 of 2,223,727 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature