Peter Singer's preference utilitarianism

  • Created by: Kaitlyn
  • Created on: 21-02-15 11:02

Peter Singer's preference utilitarianism 

There are three types of utilitarianism, these are:

  • Preference utilitarianism 
  • Rule utilitarianism 
  • Preference utilitarianism 

We are going to be exploring Peter Singer's preference utilitarianism in these revision notes.

Preference utilitarianism:

  • Developed in the late 1900s by R.M. Hare and P. Singer
  • Develops in a manner of decision making whereby the view of minorities is taken into consideration
  • Judges an action as right and wrong by asking how it fits in with rational preference

"Our preferences cannot count any more than the preferences of others."

Peter singer believes that:

  • Everyone's preferences must be taken into account
  • Everyone's interests are given equal value
  • Rather than basing a decision on a calculation of pain vs pleasure, it's better to do what best interests the greatest number
  • Minimise suffering rather than maximising pleasure
  • Pleasures are preferences, whereas most pain is agreed upon by everyone


  • What is in the best interests of the greatest


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