Utilitarianism

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Utilitarianism

The philosophy holding that moral actions must provide the greatest good to the greatest number of persons. Utilitarianism emphasizes the consequences of actions when evaluating their morality. For example, a utilitarian may regard a lie to a regulator as moral if it saves 2,000 jobs. Critics of utilitarianism contend that consequences are unknowable and argue that it could be used to defend atrocities. Utilitarians, on the other hand, argue that their philosophy is the best way to improve happiness in the aggregate.
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Rule utilitarianism speaks to the rule that dictates actions that will bring about the greatest good for the greatest number.
Rule utilitarianism, on the other hand, emphasizes the centrality of rules in determining what should be done.
(1) John Harsanyi, "Rule Utilitarianism, Equality and Justice," Social Philosophy and Policy 2 (1985): 115-27.
When Barnett refers to the evaluation of practices as opposed to acts by their consequences, he is likely referring to a distinction akin to that between act and rule utilitarianism. When he refers to indirect as opposed to direct consequentialism, he might be referring to the act/rule distinction or he might be referring to the difference between direct consequentialism as a practical standard for decisionmaking and indirect consequentialism as a theory for the evaluation of practical standards for decisionmaking.