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The Cambridge Companion to Utilitarianism
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Book description

Utilitarianism, the approach to ethics based on the maximization of overall well-being, continues to have great traction in moral philosophy and political thought. This Companion offers a systematic exploration of its history, themes, and applications. First, it traces the origins and development of utilitarianism via the work of Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Henry Sidgwick, and others. The volume then explores issues in the formulation of utilitarianism, including act versus rule utilitarianism, actual versus expected consequences, and objective versus subjective theories of well-being. Next, utilitarianism is positioned in relation to Kantianism and virtue ethics, and the possibility of conflict between utilitarianism and fairness is considered. Finally, the volume explores the modern relevance of utilitarianism by considering its practical implications for contemporary controversies such as military conflict and global warming. The volume will be an important resource for all those studying moral philosophy, political philosophy, political theory, and history of ideas.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Ancient ScepticismEdited byRichard Bett

AquinasEdited byNorman KretzmannandEleonore Stump

AtheismEdited byMichael Martin

BerkeleyEdited byKenneth P. Winkler

DeleuzeEdited byDaniel W. SmithandHenry Somers-Hall

DescartesEdited byJohn Cottingham

Duns ScotusEdited byThomas Williams

Early Greek PhilosophyEdited byA. A. Long

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N. B.Kapur, Why It Is Wrong to Be Always Guided by the Best: Consequentialism and Friendship,” Ethics 101 (1991), 483–504.

J.Kawall, The Experience Machine and Mental State Theories of Well-Being,” Journal of Value Inquiry 33 (1999), 381–387.

S.Keller, Welfare and the Achievement of Goals,” Philosophical Studies 121 (2004), 27–41.

P.Kelly, Utilitarianism and Distributive Justice: The Civil Law and the Foundations of Bentham’s Economic Thought,” Utilitas 1 (1989), 62–81.

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J. L.Mackie, The Law of the Jungle: Moral Alternatives and Principles of Evolution,” Philosophy 53 (1978), 455–464.

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D.McKerlie, Equality and Priority,” Utilitas 6 (1994), 25–42.

A.Mele, Agents’ Abilities,” Noûs 37 (2003), 447–470.

J.Mendola, Goodness and Justice: A Consequentialist Moral Theory, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

D. E.Miller, Actual-Consequence Act Utilitarianism and the Best Possible Humans,” Ratio 16 (2003), 49–62.

R. B.Miller, Actual Rule Utilitarianism,” Journal of Philosophy 106 (2009), 5–28.

J.Montmarquet, Zimmerman on Culpable Ignorance,” Ethics 109 (1999), 842–845.

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T.Mulgan, Future People: A Moderate Consequentialist Account of Our Obligations to Future Generations, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

T.Mulgan, What Is Good for the Distant Future? The Challenge of Climate Change for Utilitarianism,” forthcoming in God, The Good, and Utilitarianism: Perspectives on Peter Singer, ed. J. Perry, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

T.Nagel, Death,” Noûs 4 (1970), 73–80.

S.Nathanson, Terrorism and the Ethics of War, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

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M.Nussbaum, Adaptive Preferences and Women’s Options,” Economics and Philosophy 17 (2001), 67–88.

G.Oddie, and P. Menzies, “An Objectivist’s Guide to Subjective Value,” Ethics 102 (1992), 512–533.

D. E.Palmer, On the Viability of a Rule Utilitarianism,” Journal of Value Inquiry 33 (1999), 31–42.

D.Parfit, Equality and Priority,” Ratio 10 (1997), 202–221.

D.Parfit, On What Matters, 2 vols., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

I.Persson, A Consequentialist Distinction between What We Ought to Do and Ought to Try,” Utilitas 20 (2008), 348–355.

I.Persson, Universalizability and the Summing of Desires,” Theoria 55 (1989), 159–170.

B.Petersson, The Second Mistake in Moral Mathematics is not about the Worth of Mere Participation,” Utilitas 16 (2004), 288–315.

D.Phillips, Sidgwickian Ethics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

D.Portmore, Commonsense Consequentialism: Wherein Morality Meets Rationality, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

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P.Railton, Naturalism and Prescriptivity,” Social Philosophy and Policy 7 (1989), 151–174.

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D.Schmidtz, A Place for Cost–Benefit Analysis,” Philosophical Issues 11 (2001), 148–171.

J. B.Schneewind, The Misfortunes of Virtue,” Ethics 101 (1990), 42–63.

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H. M.Smith, Making Moral Decisions,” Noûs 22 (1988), 89–108.

H. M.Smith, Measuring the Consequences of Rules,” Utilitas 22 (2010), 413–433.

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H. M.Smith, Two-Tier Moral Codes,” Social Philosophy and Policy 7:1 (1989), 112–132.

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J.Timmermann, When the Tail Wags the Dog: Animal Welfare and Indirect Duty in Kantian Ethics,” Kantian Review 10 (2005), 128–149.

J.Timmermann, Why Kant Could Not Have Been a Utilitarian,” Utilitas 17 (2005), 243–264.

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P.Unger, Living High and Letting Die, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

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T.Warke, Multi-Dimensional Utility and the Index Number Problem: Jeremy Bentham, J. S. Mill, and Qualitative Hedonism,” Utilitas 12 (2000), 176–203.

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E.Wiland, Monkeys, Typewriters, and Objective Consequentialism,” Ratio 18 (2005), 352–360.

G.Williams, J. S. Mill and Political Violence,” Utilitas 1 (1989), 102–111.

S.Wolf, Moral Saints,” Journal of Philosophy 79 (1982), 419–439.

D.Wootton, Helvétius: From Radical Enlightenment to Revolution,” Political Theory 28 (2000), 307–336.

R.Yasukawa, James Mill on Peace and War,” Utilitas 3 (1991), 179–197.

M. J.Zimmerman, Is Moral Obligation Objective or Subjective?Utilitas 18 (2006), 329–361.

M. J.Zimmerman, Living with Uncertainty: The Moral Significance of Ignorance, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

M. J.Zimmerman, Moral Responsibility and Ignorance,” Ethics 107 (1997), 410–426.

M.Zwolinski, The Ethics of Price-Gouging,” Business Ethics Quarterly 18 (2008), 347–378.

M.Zwolinski, and D. Schmidtz, “Environmental Virtue Ethics: What It Is and What It Needs to Be,” in The Cambridge Companion to Virtue Ethics, ed. D. C. Russell, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp. 221–239.

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Adam SmithEdited byKnud Haakonssen

SocratesEdited byDonald Morrison

TocquevilleEdited byCheryl B. Welch

UtilitarianismEdited byBen EgglestonandDale E. Miller

WittgensteinEdited byHans SlugaandDavid Stern