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Moral ThinkingIts Levels, Method, and Point$
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R. M. Hare

Print publication date: 1981

Print ISBN-13: 9780198246602

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198246609.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 November 2020

Interpersonal Comparison

Interpersonal Comparison

(p.117) 7 Interpersonal Comparison
Moral Thinking

R. M. Hare

Oxford University Press

Provides a defence against the objection to utilitarianism that it requires individuals to make comparisons between utilities to different people. It is argued that an adequate response to the problem concerning our knowledge about other people's experiences can be achieved if we focus on interpersonal comparisons of degrees or strengths of preferences, and not pleasures or any other kind of utilities. We need to be impartial between our own and other people's preferences, not altruistic in its correct sense of giving more weight to the preference of others. We have to treat everyone as one, including ourselves: to do to others as we wish they should do to us.

Keywords:   impartiality, preferences, utilitarianism, utility

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