Category Archives: Roger Crisp

Roger Crisp

Utilitarianism is almost certainly much more demanding than Mill allows. It is tempting to think, in fact, that Mill is deliberately being disingenuous here. He was quite aware of how much further there was to go before customary morality became ideal, and that the route to that ideal would seem demanding to many. The rhetoric to encourage people on that road comes in chapter 3 of Utilitarianism, especially in the closing paragraphs. Here, he may be more concerned to allay doubts. Better to persuade a reader to become a feeble utilitarian than put them off entirely by stressing the demandingness of utilitarian morality.

Roger Crisp, Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Mill on Utilitarianism, London, 1997, p. 115

Roger Crisp

Why should th[e] allegedly “impersonal” content [of ideals] matter to us in deciding what to do, if that content, by definition, makes no difference to anyone’s life and so, in that important sense, matters to no one?

Roger Crisp, ‘Egalitarianism and Compassion’, Ethics, vol. 114, no. 1 (October, 2003), p. 129

Roger Crisp

In the mid-1980s I attended a series of graduate seminars, run by Derek Parfit, on Sidgwick’s Methods of Ethics. Parfit began the first seminar by claiming that the Methods was the greatest book on ethics ever written.

Roger Crisp, ‘Sidgwick and the Boundaries of Intuitionism’, in Philip Staton-Lake (ed.), Ethical Intuitionisms: Re-Evaluations, Oxford, 2003, p. 56