Acta Analytica 25 (3):279-284 (2010)

Eric Wiland
University of Missouri, St. Louis
J.J.C. Smart famously complained that rule utilitarianism is incoherent, and that rule utilitarians are guilty of rule worship . Much has been said about whether Smart’s complaint is justified, but I will assume for the sake of argument that Smart was on to something. Instead, I have three other goals. First, I want to show that Smart’s complaint is a specific instance of a more general objection to a moral theory—what I will call the Incoherence Objection. Second, I want to illustrate how the Incoherence Objection can apply both to consequentialist and, surprisingly, some nonconsequentialist theories. Finally, I want to demonstrate at least one way nonconsequentialist theories that make use of rules, principles, and the like can dodge the Incoherence Objection
Keywords Utilitarianism  Deontology  Consequentialism  Rules  Moral theory
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-010-0098-5
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References found in this work BETA

Forms and Limits of Utilitarianism.David Lyons - 1965 - Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Practical Induction.Elijah Millgram - 1997 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
Extreme and Restricted Utilitarianism.J. J. C. Smart - 1956 - Philosophical Quarterly 6 (25):344-354.
Forms and Limits of Utilitarianism.A. D. Woozley - 1967 - Philosophical Quarterly 17 (67):183-184.

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Citations of this work BETA

On the Incoherence Objection to Rule-Utilitarianism.Alex Rajczi - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (4):857-876.

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