If one sought to present utilitarianism through the work of three of its prominent 20th Century theorists, which ones would make the most sense in the context of a general overview of the literature on act utilitarianism, rule utilitarianism, and motive utilitarianism?


Three well-known 20th/21st Century Utilitarians:

Peter Singer, currently at Princeton. Famous for the article "Famine, Affluence, and Morality"

J.J. C. Smart co-author of Utilitarianism for and Against.

R.M. Hare famous for defending a version of what is often considered rule utilitarianism. (Not to be confused with his son who is also a philosopher)

  • Quick question: For rule-utilitarianism, would you feature Hare over Harsanyi? Would Hare provide a better general overview of rule-utilitarianism for readers? Or, would it be better to feature Harsanyi and show that he followed from Hare's work?
    – EVolk
    Dec 21 '15 at 4:39
  • I think I misread your question. I'm not a utilitarian so I may not be the person to pick the absolute best three representatives for the position. These are three that first sprang to mind in the contemporary context for me.
    – virmaior
    Dec 21 '15 at 4:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.