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Negative Utility Monsters

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 May 2021

Richard Yetter Chappell*
University of Miami, FL, USA
*Corresponding author. Email:


Many consider Nozick's “utility monster” – a being more efficient than ordinary people at converting resources into wellbeing, with no upper limit – to constitute a damning counterexample to utilitarianism. But our intuitions may be reversed by considering a variation in which the utility monster starts from a baseline status of massive suffering. This suggests a rethinking of the force of the original objection.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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