The dignity of persons : Kantian ethics and utilitarianism
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This work is an attempt to develop a general ethical framework, the product of the synthesis of Kantian ethics and Utilitarianism, giving us a basic account of the dignity of persons and the structure of the moral community. There is a Kantian doctrine of human dignity, and an associated conception of the nature of morality, which together should be taken to provide the basic conceptual framework in ethical theory. However, the conception of morality implicated in the Kantian story recognises not only the dignity of human beings as moral subjects, but also the dignity (the special moral standing) of all sentient beings, who therefore count as persons for moral purposes. This is shown to be the case by means of an argument for Utilitarianism (taken as a technical view in philosophy) being consistent with the basic Kantian framework already in place, argument that involves disassociating Utilitarianism from both Consequentialism and Welfarism and construing it as an Agapist doctrine (i.e. as a philosophy of practical love or rationally-based benevolence).
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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