rule utilitarianism


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rule utilitarianism

The moral theory that an action that follows a demonstrably proven ethical formula will necessarily be a good act. The ethical rule is judged to be correct by the amount of good it effects when it is followed.
See also: utilitarianism
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Possibly, the judge writing for the majority in the Tarasoff case was guided by act utilitarianism and the judge writing for the minority was guided by rule utilitarianism. Although they differed in their opinions, both judges based them on sound justification.
Begin with the distinction between act and rule utilitarianism. Act utilitarianism takes the individual action as the morally relevant unit.
[9.] This distinction is reminiscent of Hare's distinction between level-1 (general rule utilitarianism) and level-2 thinking (specific rule utilitarianism), albeit its claims regarding universality and specificity are essentially opposite to Dryzek's (Hare, 1991).
He first defends his political philosophy (a variety of rule utilitarianism) against the skeptics and the libertarians and then applies it to a number of contending social systems, winnowing their features to come up with a welfare-maximizing version of what he still calls capitalism.