A fault in the utilitarian theory of conduct

Southern Journal of Philosophy 13 (3):275-279 (1975)
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Abstract

Utilitarians take an uncritical attitude toward the sort of individual claims they seek to aggregate. In this way they cannot account for an individual's valid claim against a policy which actually maximizes aggregate satisfaction. We thus claim that utilitarianism properly functions only after conflicting claims have been adjudicated; consequently, Utilitarianism properly maximizes the satisfaction of claims judged to be valid. In such a program, Utilitarianism ceases to be considered a part of ethics, But is seen as maintaining a principle of feasibility and efficiency. Finally, We briefly suggest the methods we believe to be most effective in the resolution of ethical conflict

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Joseph DeMarco
Cleveland State University
Samuel A. Richmond
Cleveland State University

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