Abstract

A simple hedonistic theory allowing for interpersonal comparisons of happiness and catering for some standard objections (such as the heterogeneity objection) will be put forward. The hedonistic theory is used to compare utilitarianism, urging us to maximize the sum total of happiness, with prioritarianism, urging us to maximize a sum total of weighed happiness. It is argued with reference to a few thought experiments that utilitarianism is, intuitively speaking, more plausible than prioritarianism. The problem with prioritarianism surfaces when prudence and morality come apart. 

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