Single Idea 18637

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

Full Idea

Utilitarianism is an irrational choice, for it is rational to ensure your basic rights and resources are protected, even if you thereby lessen your chance of receiving benefits above and beyond the basic goods that you seek to protect.

Gist of Idea

Utilitarianism is irrational if it tells you to trade in your rights and resources just for benefits


Will Kymlicka (Contemporary Political Philosophy (1st edn) [1990], 3.3)

Book Reference

Kymlicka,Will: 'Contemporary Political Philosophy (1st edn)' [OUP 1992], p.65

A Reaction

[He's discussing Rawls] Utilitarians would obviously respond to this by saying that the rights and resources are needed to protect future benefits, so it would be short-termism to trade them in now.