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Egalitarianism versus Impartiality Edit

I wonder whether "impartiality" would better describe utilitarians' equal valuation of interests that "egalitarianism." Sometimes egalitarianism is seen as conflicting with utilitarianism. This is from the Stanford Philosophy Encyclopedia's page on consequentialism:

Another way to incorporate relations among values is to consider distribution. Compare one outcome where most people are destitute but a few lucky people have extremely large amounts of goods with another outcome that contains slightly less total goods but where every person has nearly the same amount of goods. Egalitarian critics of classical utilitarianism argue that the latter outcome is better, so more than the total amount of good matters. Traditional hedonistic utilitarians who prefer the latter outcome often try to justify egalitarian distributions of goods by appealing to a principle of diminishing marginal utility. Other consequentialists, however, incorporate a more robust commitment to equality.

Pat 19:39, 22 May 2011 (BST)

Impartiality is better than egalitarian for the reasons you stated. There might be a better word or phrase than impartiality, but I cannot think of one at the moment. There is also some lack of parallelism in the list, but it is not bad. Maybe I'll change the main page. rehoot
You're right. Note that the Varieties section is getting long, and I'm open to the idea of: 1. moving the varieties of utilitarianism to another page, and leaving a link here 2. eventually abandoning this page as an "introduction to util", and writing such a page from scratch 3. leaving the page as is. Also, I've added formatting to this talk page with colons at the start of each line, by the way. RyanCarey 15:36, 24 May 2011 (BST)


How about cosmopolitan as a description of treating the utility of all people around the world equally, then the description could say that Bentham's utilitarianism is impartial with respect to the worthiness of one pleasure versus another while J.S. Mill's utilitarianism is partial (prefers some pleasures of the upper class to other pleasures). rehoot 20:00 24 May, 2011 (GMT)

Organization Edit

Per RyanCarey's comment above about the length and structure of this page, I don't have a preference for splitting or keeping the current article as is, but as each subtopic is expanded it will be easier to break the discussion into subtopics with the main page identifying several key points per sentence with each subtopic linked as needed. rehoot 20:16 24 May, 2011 (GMT)

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