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Could Kant Have been A Utilitarian?*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 January 2009

Abstract

… the supreme end, the happiness of all mankind (Kr V A851/NKS 665).

The law concerning punishment is a Categorical Imperative; and woe to him who rummages around in the winding paths of a theory of happiness, looking for some advantage to be gained by releasing the criminal from punishment or by reducing the amount of it (Rl. A196/B226, 6:331; Ladd, 100).

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1993

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Footnotes

*

This article will also appear in Kant and Critique (The Proceedings of a Conference at Tallahassee, FL, 1991) ed. R. M. Dancy, Dordrecht, 1993.

References

1 Mill, J. S., ‘Utilitarianism’, Fraser's Magazine, 1012 1861Google Scholar, ch. 5.

2 Prichard, H. A., ‘Does Moral Philosophy Rest on a Mistake’, Mind, xxi (1912), 2137CrossRefGoogle Scholar (reprinted in his Moral Obligation, Oxford, 1949).Google Scholar

4 Hare, R. M., Critical notice of Rawls, A Theory of Justice, in Philosophical Quarterly, xxiii (1973), 144–55, 241–52Google Scholar (reprinted in his Essays in Ethical Theory, Oxford, 1989).Google Scholar

5 Harsanyi, J. C., ‘Problems with Act-Utilitarianism and with Malevolent Preferences’, in Seanor, D. and Fotion, N., eds., Hare and Critics, Oxford, 1988, p. 96.Google Scholar

6 Rawls, J., A Theory of Justice, Cambridge, Mass., 1971, p. 27Google Scholar; see Mackie, J. L., ‘Rights, Utility and Universalization’ with a reply by Hare, R. M., in Frey, R., ed., Utility and Rights, Minneapolis, 1984, pp. 86, 106Google Scholar; Richards, D. A. J., ‘Prescriptivism, Constructivism and Rights’Google Scholar, and Hare, , ‘Comments’, in Seanor and Fotion, pp. 118, 256.Google Scholar

7 Hare, R. M., Freedom and Reason, Oxford, 1963Google Scholar, ch. 8.

8 David Lyons's work on the difficulty of drawing a line between act- and rule-utilitarianism is relevant here: cf. Hare, , Freedom and Reason, pp. 130 ff.Google Scholar and Lyons, , Forms and Limits of Utilitarianism, Oxford, 1965CrossRefGoogle Scholar, ch. 3.

9 Hare, R. M., ‘The Promising Game’, Revue Internationale de Philosophie, xviii (1964), 398412Google Scholar (reprinted in his Essays in Ethical Theory).

10 Hare, R. M., ‘Principles’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, lxxiii (1972), 118Google Scholar (reprinted in his Essays in Ethical Theory).

11 For example by Williams, Bernard in ‘The Structure of Hare's Theory’Google Scholar, in Seanor, and Fotion, , pp. 189 ff.Google Scholar

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