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The Point of View of the Universe – Sidgwick and Contemporary Ethics - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Point of View of the Universe: Sidgwick and Contemporary Ethics

Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer


In The Methods of Ethics, the great nineteenth-century utilitarian Henry Sidgwick held that it is a self-evident moral truth that the good of one individual is of no more importance, ‘from the point of view of the universe’ than the good of any other. This and other ethical judgments are, in his view, objective truths that provide a rational foundation for utilitarianism. They led him to hold that the right act is the one that will most increase the surplus of pleasure over pain. This book tests Sidgwick’s arguments against a variety of views held by contemporary writers in ethics, and conclud ... More

Keywords: Ethics, The Methods of Ethics, Sidgwick, utilitarianism, ethical objectivism, reasons for action, egoism, intuitionism, hedonism, pleasure, good, intrinsic value

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199603695
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199603695.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek, author
University of Lodz

Peter Singer, author
Princeton University / University of Melbourne