Journal of Philosophy
Decision-Value Utilitarianism



Wesley Cooper

University of Alberta



Abstract. A decision value alternative is proposed to the various formulations of the principle of utility, which counsel maximization of expected utility as utility is variously conceived. Decision value factors expected utility into causal expected utility and evidential expected utility, and it adds a third factor --- symbolic utility. This latter introduces deontological  and a ‘perceived value’ elements into calculations of utility. It also suggests a solution to a lingering problem in population ethics, the so-called Repugnant Conclusion that consequentialist thinking demands a vast population of people leading lives barely worth living. Back











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