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Virtues for real-world utilitarians

Schubert, Stefan and Caviola, Lucius (2023) Virtues for real-world utilitarians. In: Experiments in Moral and Political Philosophy. Taylor and Francis Inc., pp. 163-184. ISBN 9781032293905

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Identification Number: 10.4324/9781003301424-11


Utilitarianism says that we should maximize aggregate well-being, impartially considered. But utilitarians that try to apply this principle will encounter many psychological obstacles, ranging from selfishness to moral biases to limits to epistemic and instrumental rationality. To overcome the most important of these obstacles, utilitarians should cultivate a number of virtues. These virtues are selected based on two criteria. First, the virtues should be impactful: they should greatly increase your impact (according to utilitarian standards) if you acquire them. Second, the virtues should be acquirable: they should be psychologically realistic to acquire. These criteria yield that utilitarians should prioritize six virtues: moderate altruism, moral expansiveness, effectiveness-focus, truth-seeking, collaborativeness, and determination. The chapter ends with a discussion of how these virtues compare with standard conceptions of utilitarianism as well as with common sense morality.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2023 16:21
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2024 02:22

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