Sep 22 2022


4:00 pm - 5:45 pm


Department of Philosophy

Department of Philosophy

The University of Hong Kong
Lingnan University
National University of Singapore

Abelard Podgorski
National University of Singapore

“Utilitarianishm” and Complaints

22 September 2022
4:00-5:45 pm

Zoom link:

Many people are attracted to standard consequentialist utilitarianism in spite of a host of familiar objections. I think this is not surprising given the pluralist, deontological, and virtue-ethical views it is typically pitted against. Compared to those views, it is simple, relatively tractable, grounded in an appealing idea about what matters most morally, and theoretically elegant. But I think its plausibility is exaggerated by the fact that people are looking so far into the distance for alternatives. In this talk, I consider a view which is much closer to utilitarianism – the view that we ought to minimize complaints derived from peoples’ welfare. This view, I’ll argue, is like standard utilitarianism in just the right ways – by being monistic about value, welfarist, and aggregative – to secure its most important advantages. But it also departs from utilitarianism in just the right ways to avoid a number of natural objections. In the end, I claim, there is simply very little to say in favor of utilitarianism over this view.

For inquiries:
Nathaniel Sharadin


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