Journal of Moral Philosophy 5 (2008) 227–255 JOURNAL OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY www.brill.nl/jmp © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI 10.1163/174552408X328993 Two Concepts of Rule Utilitarianism Rex Martin Department of Philosophy, University of Kansas, Wescoe Hall, 1445 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 3090, Lawrence, KS 66045-7590, USA firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract Th e notion of rule utilitarianism (a twentieth-century addition to the canon of utilitarian thought) has been discussed under two main headings—ideal-rule utilitarianism and ‘indirect’ utilitarianism. Th e distinction between them is often hazy. But we can sketch out each perspective along three diﬀ erent dimensions, contrasting the two conceptions of rule utilitarianism at each of three main hinge points: (1) the grounding of rules, (2) the allowed complexity of rules, (3) the conﬂ ict of rules. Th ese two proﬁ les constitute ideal types, but they help us see that we can regiment and focus utilitarian intuitions in two quite distinct ways. An interesting test case is provided by J.S. Mill. He has been associated with each of these perspectives (with a utilitarianism of ideal rules by R.B. Brandt and with indirect utilitarianism by John Gray), but careful attention to Mill’s main arguments indicates, I believe, that he adheres to neither
Journal of Moral Philosophy – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2008
Keywords: UTILITARIANISM; RULES; IDEAL RULES; MILL; INDIRECT UTILITARIANISM; ACT UTILITARIANISM
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