Most arguments in support of act utilitarianism are elaborations of one of two basic strategies. One is the consequentialist strategy. This strategy relies on the consequentialist premise that an act is right if and only if it produces the best possible consequences and the welfarist premise that the value of a state of affairs is entirely determined by its overall amount of well-being. The other strategy is based on the idea of treating individuals respectfully and resolving conflicts among individuals in whatever way best conforms to that idea. Although both of these strategies can be used to argue for the principle of act utilitarianism, they are significantly different from each other, and these differences cause them to have different strengths and weaknesses. It emerges that which argumentative strategy is chosen by a proponent of act utilitarianism has a large impact on which virtues her view has and which objections it is vulnerable to.
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