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In the Interest of the GovernedA Study in Bentham's Philosophy of Utility and Law$
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David Lyons

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198239642

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198239642.001.0001

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The Consistency of the Dual Standard

The Consistency of the Dual Standard

(p.35) 3 The Consistency of the Dual Standard
In the Interest of the Governed

David Lyons

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses possible challenges to the dual standard ascribed to Bentham. Other things being equal, such an interpretation should be avoided; if there is an alternative way of reading the text that avoids imputing an incoherent view to Bentham, that alternative should be taken. The chapter considers two forms of such an objection, each employing a notion of moral ‘inconsistency’. It argues that the dual-standard interpretation of Bentham's utilitarianism cannot be rejected out of hand as untenable and must still be considered as a viable candidate.

Keywords:   Bentham, dual standard, moral inconsistency, utilitarianism, law, obligation

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