Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 July 2021
In the twentieth century, secular philosophers explicitly defended rule-utilitarian theories as alternatives to act-utilitarian theories that, they believed, led to implausible moral conclusions. This approach was powerfully criticized by people like David Lyons and J. J. C. Smart who thought rule-consequentialism was paradoxical because it awarded rules a weight that could not be justified on consequentialist grounds. In the mid- to late twentieth century there were philosophers who attempted to challenge the boundaries of utilitarian orthodoxy by expressly using nonconsequentialist moral premises to justify the shift to a legislative rather than situated perspective. The focus on the failure of rule-utilitarianism in terms of strict utilitarian orthodoxy has obscured the importance of hybrid theories that draw on both consequentialist and nonconsequentialist premises. A number of thinkers who are classified as rule-utilitarians (and sometimes criticized for betraying utilitarian orthodoxy) in fact expressly acknowledged nonutilitarian aspects to their theories (including R. M. Hare and John Harsanyi). The chapter ends with a summary of the main historical claims of Part I.