Justicized consequentialism: prioritizing the right or the good?
Journal of Value Inquiry
467 - 479
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Please cite this item using this persistent URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/11693/11310
A standard criticism of act-utilitarianism is that it is only indirectly concerned with the distribution of welfare between individuals and, therefore, does not take adequate account of the separateness between individuals. In response a number of philosophers have argued that act-utilitarianism is only vulnerable to that objection because it adheres to a theory of the good which ignores non-welfarist sources of intrinsic value such as justice. Fred Feldman, for example, argues that intrinsic value is independently generated by the receipt of welfare and the degree to which receipt accords with the demands of justice, and that an action is right insofar as it maximizes the sum of both those sources of value. In response it is argued that justicized consequentialism only blocks the objection at the expense of presupposing deontological constraints. In addition, it is argued that the value of justice cannot be explained non-deontically and, therefore, that the proposed theory is not consequentialist all the way down.