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Rashdall, Hastings
(1858 - 1924)

English philosopher who expounded a theory known as ideal utilitarianism.

Rashdall was a Fellow of New College, Oxford, and dedicates his main work, The Theory of Good and Evil, to the memory of his teachers T. H. Green and Henry Sidgwick. The dedication is appropriate, for the particular version of utilitarianism put forward by Rashdall owes elements to both Green and Sidgwick. Whereas he holds that the concepts of good and value are logically prior to that of right, he gives right a more than instrumental significance. His idea of good owes more to T. H. Green than to the hedonistic utilitarians. 'The ideal of human life is not the mere juxtaposition of distinct goods, but a whole in which each good is made different by the presence of others.' Rashdall has been unfairly eclipsed as a moral philosopher by G. E. Moore.

Bibliography  H. Sidgwick (with additional ch. by A. G. Widgery), Outlines of the History of Ethics (London, 1946).

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy,Oxford University Press 1995


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