Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 12, 1986/1987

Richard M. Fox
Pages 155-162

Motilal Shastri’s “Rule Utilitarianism”

Motilal Shastri developed an ethical theory which closely resembles rule utilitarianism at roughly the same time as and yet in complete independence of English-speaking philosophers. The philosophic significance of his view lies in the manner in which he develops and justifies his position. Shastri contends that efficiency in action requires indifference or inattention to ends. He appears to use the same device for justifying rule-governed duties that Mill uses to justify a move from egoism to altruism: that actions first viewed as means may later become ends in themselves. However, in Shastri’s theory, ends appear to be retained as unconscious motives.