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Cost-benefit analysis and non-utilitarian ethics

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  • Rosemary Lowry

    (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands)

  • Martin Peterson

    ()
    (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands)

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    Abstract

    Cost-benefit analysis is commonly understood to be intimately connected with utilitarianism and incompatible with other moral theories, particularly those that focus on deontological concepts such as rights. We reject this claim and argue that cost-benefit analysis can take moral rights as well as other non-utilitarian moral considerations into account in a systematic manner. We discuss three ways of doing this, and claim that two of them (output filters and input filters) can account for a wide range of rights-based moral theories, including the absolute notions of moral rights proposed by Hayek, Mayo, Nozick, and Shue. We also discuss whether the use of output filters and input filters can be generalized to cover other non-utilitarian theories, such as Kantian duty ethics and virtue ethics.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by in its journal Politics, Philosophy & Economics.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 258-279

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    Handle: RePEc:sae:pophec:v:11:y:2012:i:3:p:258-279

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    Related research

    Keywords: cost-benefit analysis; utilitarianism; rights; output filter; transformative decision rule;

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