How Desire Utilitarianism Compares to Other Ethical Theories

by Luke Muehlhauser on March 13, 2009 in Ethics

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The most plausible theory of ethics I’ve heard is desire utilitarianism [ebook pdf, mp3, FAQ].

I think it will be helpful if I explain where desire utilitarianism fits next to the other ethical theories, and why I think it fares better than the others. So, I recorded this 14-minute audio essay:

Desire Utilitarianism and Other Ethical Theories (2.5mb mp3)

The above graphic (click for full size) illustrates some of what I say in the audio essay.

One sentence summary: Desire utilitarianism is the only theory of moral realism based on reasons for action that actually exist.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anselm March 13, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Excellent chart! Thanks for posting this.

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Sophia Wilson May 23, 2010 at 10:16 pm

In reality, no single religion could guarantee us a place in Heaven. In the end, what matters is how we a treat other people..”~

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