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    The Cambridge Companion to Utilitarianism
    • Online ISBN: 9781139096737
    • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCO9781139096737
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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 by Richard Bett

AquinasEdited by Norman Kretzmann and Eleonore Stump

AtheismEdited by Michael Martin

BerkeleyEdited by Kenneth P. Winkler

DeleuzeEdited by Daniel W. Smith and Henry Somers-Hall

DescartesEdited by John Cottingham

Duns ScotusEdited by Thomas Williams

Early Greek PhilosophyEdited by A. A. Long

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F. Feldman Actual Utility, the Objection from Impracticality, and the Move to Expected Utility,” Philosophical Studies 129 (2006), 49–79.

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C. Heathwood Desire Satisfactionism and Hedonism,” Philosophical Studies 128 (2006), 539–563.

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B. Hooker Fairness, Needs, and Desert,” in The Legacy of H. L. A. Hart: Legal, Political and Moral Philosophy, eds. M. H. Kramer , C. Grant , B. Colburn , and A. Hatzistavrou , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, pp. 181–199.

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F. Howard-Snyder The Rejection of Objective Consequentialism,” Utilitas 9 (1997), 241–248.

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F. Jackson Decision-Theoretic Consequentialism and the Nearest and Dearest Objection,” Ethics 101 (1991), 461–482.

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S. Kagan Well-Being as Enjoying the Good,” Philosophical Perspectives 23 (2009), 253–272.

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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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H. J. McCloskey A Non-Utilitarian Approach to Punishment,” Inquiry 8 (1965), 249–263.

H. J. McCloskey Utilitarianism: Two Difficulties,” Philosophical Studies 24 (1973), 62–63.

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

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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.

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

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

Y.-K. Ng What Should We Do about Future Generations? Impossibility of Parfit’s Theory X,” Economics and Philosophy 5 (1989), 235–253.

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.

H. A. Prichard Duty and Ignorance of Fact,” in his Moral Writings, ed. J. MacAdam , Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002, pp. 84–101.

W. Rabinowicz Preference Utilitarianism by Way of Preference Change?” in Preference Change: Approaches from Philosophy, Economics and Psychology, eds. T. Grüne-Yanoff and S. O. Hansson , Dordrecht: Springer, 2009, pp. 185–206.

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S. Rachels A Set of Solutions to Parfit’s Problems,” Noûs 35 (2001), 214–238.

J. Raibley Well-Being and the Priority of Values,” Social Theory and Practice 36 (2010), 593–620.

P. Railton Facts and Values,” Philosophical Topics 14 (1986), 5–31.

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

J. Rawls Justice as Fairness,” Philosophical Review 67 (1958), 164–194.

D. Regan Utilitarianism and Co-operation, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980.

M. Ridge Introducing Variable-Rate Rule-Utilitarianism,” Philosophical Quarterly 56 (2006), 242–253.

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M. Roberts A New Way of Doing the Best That We Can: Person-Based Consequentialism and the Equality Problem,” Ethics 112 (2001), 315–350.

M. Roberts and D. Wasserman (eds.) Harming Future Persons: Ethics, Genetics and the Nonidentity Problem, Dordrecht: Springer, 2009.

C. S. Rosati Persons, Perspectives, and Full Information Accounts of the Good,” Ethics 105 (1995), 296–325.

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

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P. Schofield Utility and Democracy: The Political Thought of Jeremy Bentham, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

G. F. Schueler Some Reasoning about Preferences,” Ethics 95 (1984), 78–80.

B. Schultz (ed.) Essays on Henry Sidgwick, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

B. Schultz , Henry Sidgwick – Eye of the Universe: An Intellectual Biography, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

J. Semple Bentham’s Prison: A Study of the Panopticon Penitentiary, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993.

A. Sen Utilitarianism and Welfarism,” Journal of Philosophy 76 (1979), 463–489.

A. Sen Utility: Ideas and Terminology,” Economics and Philosophy 7 (1991), 277–283.

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W. H. Shaw Utilitarianism and Recourse to War,” Utilitas 23 (2011), 380–401.

K. Shrader-Frechette Parfit and Mistakes in Moral Mathematics,” Ethics 98 (1987), 50–60.

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J. J. C. Smart Extreme and Restricted Utilitarianism,” Philosophical Quarterly 6 (1956), 344–354.

H. M. Smith Culpable Ignorance,” Philosophical Review 92 (1983), 543–571.

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

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

H. M. Smith Subjective Rightness,” Social Philosophy and Policy 27:2 (2010), 64–110.

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

H. M. Smith Varieties of Moral Worth and Moral Credit,” Ethics 101 (1991), 279–303.

D. Sobel Full Information Accounts of Well-Being,” Ethics 104 (1994), 784–810.

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M. Stocker The Schizophrenia of Modern Ethical Theories,” Journal of Philosophy 73 (1976), 453–466.

B. Streumer Can Consequentialism Cover Everything?Utilitas 15 (2003), 237–247.

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J. Timmermann Good But Not Required? – Assessing the Demands of Kantian Ethics,” Journal of Moral Philosophy 2 (2005), 9–27.

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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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P. Vallentyne Utilitarianism and Infinite Utility,” Australasian Journal of Philosophy 71 (1993), 212–217.

P. Vallentyne and S. Kagan , “Infinite Value and Finitely Additive Value Theory,” Journal of Philosophy 94 (1997), 5–26.

J. Waldron God, Locke, and Equality: Christian Foundations in Locke’s Political Thought, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

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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.

J. A. Weymark A Reconsideration of the Harsanyi–Sen Debate on Utilitarianism,” in Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being, eds. J. Elster and J. E. Roemer , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991, pp. 255–320.

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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