Erkenntnis 41 (1):1 - 35 (1994)

Coordination problems, problems in which each agent's expected utility depends upon what other agents do, pose a problem for act utilitarianism. When the agents are act utilitarians and know of each other that they are so, they seem unable to achieve optimal outcomes in certain coordination problems. I examine various ways the act utilitarian might attempt to solve this problem, where act utilitarianism is interpreted within the framework of subjective expected utility theory. In particular, a new method for computing expected utility,dynamic deliberation, deserves examination as a possible act utilitarian solution to coordination problems. I argue that even dynamic deliberation fails to give the act utilitarian what he needs in coordination problems, and that the failure of act utilitarianism for such problems suggests the need for an alternative theory of moral choice along rule utilitarian lines.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF01128908
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,199
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Convention: A Philosophical Study.David Kellogg Lewis - 1969 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40).David Hume - 1978 - Oxford University Press.

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Evil and God's Toxin Puzzle.John Pittard - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):88-108.
The Difference Principle is Not Action-Guiding.Rupert Read - 2011 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (4):487-503.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Utilitarianism and Infinite Utility.Peter Vallentyne - 1993 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 71 (2):212 – 217.
A Utilitarian Reply to Dr. McCloskey.T. L. S. Sprigge - 1965 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 8 (1-4):264 – 291.
Correspondence.Derek Parfit & Charles Fried - 1979 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 8 (4):395-397.
Correspondence.Derek Parfit - 1981 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 10 (2):180-181.
A Dilemma for Objective Act-Utilitarianism.Gerald Lang - 2004 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 3 (2):221-239.


Added to PP index

Total views
87 ( #135,305 of 2,518,112 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #408,577 of 2,518,112 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes