Utilitarianism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 24 pages of information about Utilitarianism.
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Act and Rule Utilitarianism

The first important division is between "act" utilitarianism and "rule" utilitarianism. If, in the above definition, we understand actions to mean "particular actions," then we are dealing with the form of utilitarianism called act utilitarianism, according to which we assess the rightness or wrongness of each individual action directly by its consequences. If, on the other hand, we understand actions in the above definition to mean "sorts of actions," then we get some sort of rule utilitarianism. The rule utilitarian does not consider the consequences of each particular action but considers the consequences of adopting some general rule, such as "Keep promises." He adopts the rule if the consequences of its general adoption are better than those of the adoption of some alternative rule.

Since, in this context, the word rule can be interpreted in two ways, to mean either "possible rule" or "rule actually...

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This section contains 7,106 words
(approx. 24 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Utilitarianism Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Utilitarianism from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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