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This is a book about moral reasoning: how we actually reason and how we ought to reason. It defends a form of "rule" utilitarianism whereby we must sometimes judge and act in moral questions in accordance with generally accepted rules, so long as the existence of those rules is justified by the good they bring about. The author opposes the currently more fashionable view that it is always right for the individual to do that which produces the most good. Among the salient topics covered are: an account of the utilitarian function in society of generally accepted moral rules; a discussion of how we interpret existing moral rules and create new ones; and a defense of "rule" utilitarianism against the charge that it either commits one to irrational rule worship, or collapses into a form of "act" utilitarianism.
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- Date Published: March 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521102421
- length: 248 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.37kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
2. The primary principle: Doing good
3. The advantages of collective strategies
4. Relations between collective and individual rationality
5. Publicity, autonomy, and objective act consequentialism
6. The existence of rules and practices
7. Practical reasoning
8. Moral analogues of interpretation and legislation
9. Other utilitarian conceptions: Some comparisons
10. Concluding observations: Summary and a look ahead.
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