Peter Singer's argument for Utilitarianism

Journal article


Buckle, Stephen. (2005). Peter Singer's argument for Utilitarianism. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics. 26(3), pp. 175 - 194. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11017-005-3976-x
AuthorsBuckle, Stephen
Abstract

Abstract The paper begins by situating Singer within the British meta-ethical tradition. It sets out the main steps in his argument for utilitarianism as the ‘default setting’ of ethical thought. It argues that Singer’s argument depends on a hierarchy of reasons, such that the ethical viewpoint is understood to be an adaptation – an extension – of a fundamental self-interest. It concludes that the argument fails because it is impossible to get from this starting-point in self-interest to his conception of the ethical point of view. The fundamental problem is its mixing the immiscible: the Humean subordination of reason to interest with the Kantian conception of reason as universal and authoritative.

Year2005
JournalTheoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Journal citation26 (3), pp. 175 - 194
ISSN1573-1200
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s11017-005-3976-x
Scopus EID2-s2.0-21344435986
Page range175 - 194
Research GroupSchool of Philosophy
Place of publicationNetherlands
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