Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press
Moral Legislation: A Legal-Political Model for Indirect Consequentialist Reasoning

Moral Legislation: A Legal-Political Model for Indirect Consequentialist Reasoning

by Conrad D. JohnsonConrad D. Johnson
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This is a book about moral reasoning: how we actually reason and how we ought to reason. It defends a form of "rule" utilitarianism whereby we must sometimes judge and act in moral questions in accordance with generally accepted rules, so long as the existence of those rules is justified by the good they bring about. The author opposes the currently more fashionable view that it is always right for the individual to do that which produces the most good. Among the salient topics covered are: an account of the utilitarian function in society of generally accepted moral rules; a discussion of how we interpret existing moral rules and create new ones; and a defense of "rule" utilitarianism against the charge that it either commits one to irrational rule worship, or collapses into a form of "act" utilitarianism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521102421
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/12/2009
Series: Cambridge Studies in Philosophy
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.55(d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. The primary principle: Doing good; 3. The advantages of collective strategies; 4. Relations between collective and individual rationality; 5. Publicity, autonomy, and objective act consequentialism; 6. The existence of rules and practices; 7. Practical reasoning; 8. Moral analogues of interpretation and legislation; 9. Other utilitarian conceptions: Some comparisons; 10. Concluding observations: Summary and a look ahead.

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