The Utilitarian Prince
Tolstoy’s Stepan Oblonsky & the Pleasure Principle That Doesn’t Work
by Daniel Propson
Any reasonably perceptive individual has probably noticed, if only subconsciously, that some moral actions have bad results. Punctuality, for example, can be tremendously inefficient; honesty can cause pain; diligence can cause frustration. For the moment, let us ignore the question of whether these consequences are bad in context. We can certainly admit that they are bad in isolation.
Some ethicists seize on these bad consequences and argue that punctuality, honesty, and diligence are not virtuous in themselves, bu . . .