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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Members

The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact: admin.imems@durham.ac.uk

Publication details for Professor Geoffrey Scarre

Scarre, Geoffrey (1996). Utilitarianism. London: Routledge.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Surveying the historical development and the present condition of utilitarian ethics, Geoffrey Scarre examines the major philosophers from Lao Tzu in the fifth century BC to Richard Hare in the twentieth.

Utilitarianism traces the 'doctrine of utility' from the moralists of the ancient world, through the Enlightenment and Victorian utilitarianism up to the lively debate of the present day.

Utilitarianism today faces challenges on several fronts: it cannot warrant the drawing of adequate protective boundaries around the essential interests of individuals, and it does not allow them the space to pursue the personal concerns which give meaning to their lives. Geoffrey Scarre considers these and other charges, and concludes that whilst utilitarianism may not be a faultless moral doctrine, its positions are relevant, and significant today.

Written with undergraduates in mind, this is an ideal course book for those studying and those teaching moral philosophy.