Are there any pros and cons with the two major consequentialist theories: egoism and utilitarianism?

1 Answer | Add Yours

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I would say that the major pro of these two schools of thought is the fact that they focus on the results of actions rather than their intent.  You can argue that this brings more of a realistic focus to philosophy.  Instead of thinking about how your actions would be made into universal laws, you simply think "is this action going to help me (or help people in general).

I would say that the con here is that it is easy to use these theories to rationalize bad behavior.  If you misunderstand your self interest, or if you misunderstand what the common good is, you can easily justify to yourself actions that do not seem good at all.

We’ve answered 318,911 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question