Single Idea 18629

[catalogued under 24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 4. Social Utilitarianism]

Full Idea

Acting directly on utilitarian grounds is counter-productive, for it encourages a contingent and detached attitude towards what should be whole-hearted personal and political commitments.

Gist of Idea

Using utilitarian principles to make decisions encourages cold detachment from people


Will Kymlicka (Contemporary Political Philosophy (1st edn) [1990], 2.7)

Book Reference

Kymlicka,Will: 'Contemporary Political Philosophy (1st edn)' [OUP 1992], p.45

A Reaction

I've always seen this as an objection to utilitarianism, but I now see that it is only an objection to the decision procedure. We should be warm-hearted and committed, in the knowledge that this will increase benefits to all. Hm. A bit schizoid.