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Restrictive Utilitarianism

"Restrictive utilitarianism is the view that the right action is the one which maximises objectively probable value. So when evaluating an agent's decision, this is the criterion of rightness that should be applied. But it does not follow that, when deliberating, the agent should engage in a calculation in order to work out how to maximise objectively probable value; that may indeed be counterproductive. The right decision may be reached by not properly aiming at it. Instead, an agent in whom certain attitudes and character traits have been developed (for instance, an immediate bent towards honesty and fairness), and who acts in character, may be more likely to take the right decision than an agent who engages in casuistic deliberation."

The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy
ed. Thomas Mautner
ISBN 0-14-051250-0


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