Updates to utilitarianism.net




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Back in July, I mentioned our new introduction to population ethics. Since then, I’ve also added a chapter on Theories of Well-being, and — brand new as of today — Arguments for Utilitarianism.I’m inclined to think the best case for utilitarianism stems from simply reflecting on what fundamentally matters (and one who doesn’t find the utilitarian answer here intuitively compelling is unlikely to be much moved by any other argument in support of the view). But I’m also pretty moved by the charge against non-consequentialist views that they are steeped in status quo bias, so I was pleased to be able to make that case here. (I don’t recall seeing the point discussed so much elsewhere — it strikes me as unduly neglected.)The other big news today is that we’re kicking off a new series of Guest Essays with an excellent article by Jeff Sebo on ‘Utilitarianism and Nonhuman Animals’:This essay advances three broad claims about utilitarianism and nonhuman animals. First, utilitarianism plausibly implies that all vertebrates and many invertebrates morally matter, but that some of these animals might matter more than others. Second, utilitarianism plausibly implies that we should attempt to both promote animal welfare and respect animal rights in practice. Third, utilitarianism plausibly implies that we should prioritize farmed and wild animals at present, and that we should work to support them in a variety of ways.Enjoy! (And maybe consider adding the relevant articles to your syllabi if you teach on any of these topics…)

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