Title

The Moral Opacity of Utilitarianism

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

2000

Editor(s)

Brad Hooker, Elinor Mason & Dale E. Miller

ISBN

9781474469319

Publisher

Edinburgh University Press

Language

en-US

Abstract

Utilitarians sometimes suggest that their moral theory has an advantage over competing theories in basing moral judgements on the consequences of conduct. As its dictates are determined by empirically determinable facts, it offers a procedure for settling moral controversies on objective grounds. One need not appeal, for example, to the dubious authority of ‘moral intuitions’.

Claims like these are subject to familiar objections at various levels. I shall mention a representative sample and then focus on more serious difficulties stemming from aspects of utilitarianism that I believe have not been fully enough explored.

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