Justifying too much

is Utilitarianism a moral theory at all?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

I argue that, were the utilitarian arguments for the use of interrogational torture in so-called ticking bomb scenarios sound, then they would also sanction the torture of people known to be wholly innocent. So either utilitarian arguments are unsound in their own terms; or, if sound, they suggest that utilitarianism is not a moral theory at all.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterrogation and torture
Subtitle of host publicationresearch on its efficacy and its integration with legality and morality
EditorsS. Barela, M. Fallon, G. Gaggioli, D. Ohlin
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019

Fingerprint

Sound
Torture
Utilitarianism
Moral Theory
Scenarios
Sanctions

Keywords

  • interrogational torture
  • ticking bomb
  • utilitarianism

Cite this

Brecher, B. (Accepted/In press). Justifying too much: is Utilitarianism a moral theory at all? In S. Barela, M. Fallon, G. Gaggioli, & D. Ohlin (Eds.), Interrogation and torture: research on its efficacy and its integration with legality and morality Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Brecher, Bob. / Justifying too much : is Utilitarianism a moral theory at all?. Interrogation and torture: research on its efficacy and its integration with legality and morality. editor / S. Barela ; M. Fallon ; G. Gaggioli ; D. Ohlin. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2019.
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abstract = "I argue that, were the utilitarian arguments for the use of interrogational torture in so-called ticking bomb scenarios sound, then they would also sanction the torture of people known to be wholly innocent. So either utilitarian arguments are unsound in their own terms; or, if sound, they suggest that utilitarianism is not a moral theory at all.",
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Brecher, B 2019, Justifying too much: is Utilitarianism a moral theory at all? in S Barela, M Fallon, G Gaggioli & D Ohlin (eds), Interrogation and torture: research on its efficacy and its integration with legality and morality. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Justifying too much : is Utilitarianism a moral theory at all? / Brecher, Bob.

Interrogation and torture: research on its efficacy and its integration with legality and morality. ed. / S. Barela; M. Fallon; G. Gaggioli; D. Ohlin. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2019.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearchpeer-review

TY - CHAP

T1 - Justifying too much

T2 - is Utilitarianism a moral theory at all?

AU - Brecher, Bob

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - I argue that, were the utilitarian arguments for the use of interrogational torture in so-called ticking bomb scenarios sound, then they would also sanction the torture of people known to be wholly innocent. So either utilitarian arguments are unsound in their own terms; or, if sound, they suggest that utilitarianism is not a moral theory at all.

AB - I argue that, were the utilitarian arguments for the use of interrogational torture in so-called ticking bomb scenarios sound, then they would also sanction the torture of people known to be wholly innocent. So either utilitarian arguments are unsound in their own terms; or, if sound, they suggest that utilitarianism is not a moral theory at all.

KW - interrogational torture

KW - ticking bomb

KW - utilitarianism

M3 - Chapter

BT - Interrogation and torture

A2 - Barela, S.

A2 - Fallon, M.

A2 - Gaggioli, G.

A2 - Ohlin, D.

PB - Oxford University Press

CY - Oxford

ER -

Brecher B. Justifying too much: is Utilitarianism a moral theory at all? In Barela S, Fallon M, Gaggioli G, Ohlin D, editors, Interrogation and torture: research on its efficacy and its integration with legality and morality. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2019