more from Richard M. Hare

Single Idea 4126

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / i. Prescriptivism]

Full Idea

Hare's version of utilitarianism requires an agent to abandon any deeply held principle or conviction if a large enough aggregate of contrary preferences, of whatever kind, favours a contrary action.

Gist of Idea

If we have to want the preferences of the many, we have to abandon our own deeply-held views

Source

comment on Richard M. Hare (Moral Thinking: Its Levels,Method and Point [1981]) by Bernard Williams - Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy Ch.5

Book Reference

Williams,Bernard: 'Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy' [Fontana 1985], p.86


A Reaction

This nicely attacks any impersonal moral theory, whether it is based on reason or preferences. But where did my personal ideals come from?