Tag Archives: principle of personal good

John Broome

The Pareto principle is, I think, untrue. It is an ill-begotten hybrid. It tries to link individual preferences with general good. But one should either link individual preferences with what should come about, as the democratic principle does, or individual good with general good, as the principle of general good does. The hybrid is no viable.

John Broome, Weighing Goods, Oxford, 1991, p. 159

Robert Goodin

There is a sense of ‘utilitarianism’, associated with architects and cabinet-makers, which equates it to the ‘functional’ and makes it the enemy of the excellent and the beautiful. Yet therein lies one of the great advantages of utilitarianism as a theory of the good: by running everything through people’s preferences and interests more generally, it is non-committal as between various more specific theories of the good that people might embrace, and it is equally open to all of them.

Robert Goodin, ‘Utility and the Good’, in Peter Singer (ed.), A Companion to Ethics, Oxford, 1991, p. 242