The foundations of Godwinian impartiality

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The foundations of Godwinian impartiality

Show simple item record Lamb, Robert en_GB
dc.contributor.department University of Exeter en_GB 2009-02-20T09:40:11Z en_GB 2011-01-25T11:43:52Z en_US 2013-03-20T16:31:03Z 2006-06 en_GB
dc.description.abstract William Godwin is often cited in contemporary philosophical discussions of ethical impartiality, within which he functions as a sort of shorthand for a particularly crude and extreme act-utilitarianism, one that contains no foundational commitments other than the maximizing of some conception of the general good. This article offers a reinterpretation of Godwin's argument, by focusing closely on the ambiguous nature of its justificatory foundations. Although utilitarian political theories seem to have two possible justifications available to them – egalitarian and teleological – there has been little effort to establish which one of them Godwin's argument for impartiality relies on. This problem becomes more complicated when it is acknowledged that Godwin actually provides two different justifications for impartiality, only one of which is consequentialist. The other seems to make a case based on the recognition of moral worth and virtue. This is something confirmed through analysis of Godwin's writings on equality and suggests his political theory is more complex than most philosophers are willing to admit. en_GB
dc.identifier.citation 18(2), pp.134-153 en_GB
dc.identifier.doi 10.1017/S0953820806001890 en_GB
dc.identifier.uri en_GB
dc.language.iso en en_GB
dc.publisher Cambridge University Press en_GB
dc.relation.url en_GB
dc.relation.url en_GB
dc.subject Godwin, William en_GB
dc.subject utilitarianism en_GB
dc.subject impartiality en_GB
dc.subject equality en_GB
dc.title The foundations of Godwinian impartiality en_GB
dc.type Article en_GB 2009-02-20T09:40:11Z en_GB 2011-01-25T11:43:52Z en_US 2013-03-20T16:31:03Z
dc.identifier.issn 0953-8208 en_GB
dc.description © 2006 Cambridge University Press en_GB
dc.identifier.eissn 1741-6183 en_GB
dc.identifier.journal Utilitas en_GB

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