Utilitarianism and anti-utilitarianism
AbstractThis paper presents the different utilitarian approaches to ethics. It stresses the influence of utilitarianism in economics in general and in welfare economics in particular. The key idea of the paper to explain the evolution from classical utilitarianism to preferences utilitarianism and towards post-welfarist approaches is the following. Utility is defi-ned normatively and positively. This generates some serious tensions. Utilitarianism needs to evolve to go beyond this ethical tension. Another idea defended in this paper is that the solutions developed by utilitarianism to solve the ethical issue eventually reinforces operational problems. This raises a legitimacy issue as whether the intervention of utilitarian economists in public decision are likely to be normatively transparent.
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Date of creation: 20 Nov 2013
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Utilitarianism; Welfarism; Hedonism; Preference; Utility;
Other versions of this item:
- A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
- A33 - General Economics and Teaching - - Multisubject Collective Works - - - Handbooks
- B10 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - General
- B2 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-11-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-HPE-2013-11-29 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-UPT-2013-11-29 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
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