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Ethicsand "The Nature of Moral Philosophy"$
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G. E. Moore and William H. Shaw

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199272013

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199272018.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Utilitarianism

G. E. Moore

Oxford University Press

This chapter and the one that follows analyze and elucidate the normative structure of utilitarianism. Although Moore did not consider himself a utilitarian, it becomes evident as the book proceeds that he accepts utilitarianism’s consequentialist account of right and wrong despite rejecting its hedonistic value theory. These opening chapters are a model of analytic exposition as Moore lays out utilitarianism’s theoretical commitments and contrasts various distinct but closely related normative theses. Moore expounds the utilitarian theory with far greater precision than the classical utilitarian thinkers ever achieved.

Keywords:   balance of pleasure, duty, ethical philosophers, fundamental ethical questions, possible actions, right, ought, voluntary actions

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