Volume 10, 2008
C. L. Sheng, Harrison F.H. Lee
On G. E. Moore’s View of Hedonistic Utilitarianism
At Moore’s time, the main-stream ethical theory is the doctrine that pleasure alone is good as an end as held by the hedonistic utilitarianism. Moore, however, asserts that good, not composed of any parts, is a simple notion and indefinable, and naturalistic ethical theories, in particular hedonistic utilitarianism, interpret intrinsic good as a property of a single natural object---pleasure, which is also the sole end of life, thus violates naturalistic fallacy. Moore seems to believe that there exist things other than pleasure that are also intrinsically good and has searched for them. But Moore has not clearly stated what these things are, nor has he given any justification for why they are intrinsically good. This paper discusses Moore’s arguments and difficulties of utilitarianism. With the subjectivistic utilitarian theory of value, Unified Utilitarian Theory (UTT) discards the classification of value into intrinsic and instrumental and proves to be exempt of all the
existing difficulties with utilitarianism related to pleasure, including naturalistic fallacy, vagueness of pleasure and sole end of life, double counting, etc.