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Happiness and Pleasure in European Thought

Rule Utilitarianism

This "act utilitarianism" has been criticized because it only seems to consider the consequences of an act for the actor and therefore leaves aside the consequences of an action for others. As a result, John Stuart Mill (1806–1873) and John Austin (1790–1859) proposed a system of "rule utilitarianism" in which actions would be deemed moral based upon their adherence to a specific rule of conduct that has the best overall consequences. Of course some, principally David Lyons (b. 1935), have argued that rule utilitarianism amounts to the same thing as act utilitarianism since it would simply suggest that the same sorts of acts be followed as in act utilitarianism. The only apparent difference between the two systems is that they follow different methods in order to arrive at the same place.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Habit memory: to HeterodontHappiness and Pleasure in European Thought - The Hellenistic Era, The Medieval View, Modern Views On Happiness, Act Utilitarianism, Rule Utilitarianism