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The Retreat of ReasonA dilemma in the philosophy of life$
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Ingmar Persson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276905

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199276900.001.0001

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THE REQUIREMENT OF PERSONAL NEUTRALITY

THE REQUIREMENT OF PERSONAL NEUTRALITY

Chapter:
(p.351) 27 THE REQUIREMENT OF PERSONAL NEUTRALITY
Source:
The Retreat of Reason
Author(s):

Ingmar Persson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199276900.003.0028

This chapter contends that, just as it is rationally permissible in the intra-personal domain of prudence to set aside the goal of maximizing the fulfilment of one’s own life in order to pursue some ideal, so it is rationally permissible in the inter-personal domain of morality to set aside the utilitarian goal of maximizing fulfilment overall in order to pursue some ideal. The argument for this extension derives from the rational insignificance of personal identity established in earlier chapters. Rationality only imposes a requirement of universalizability which leaves room for this choice between idealism and utilitarianism.

Keywords:   idealism, maximizing fulfilment, morality, universalizability, utilitarianism

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