“Sometimes an act is criticized just because the results of everyone’s acting similarly would be bad. The generalization test, ‘What would happen if everyone did the same?’ is often used in raising such criticisms; and a principle warranting the criticism is of the following kind:
(G1) If the consequences of everyone’s doing a certain sort of thing would be undesirable, then it would be wrong for anyone to do such a thing.
This principle is clearly teleological (utilitarian) since in appealing to it, in determining whether acts are wrong, we consider only desirable and undesirable effects – their utility. It is also a generalization principle: the consequences of a general practice (everyone’s doing the same) are considered; a particular act is assessed as an act of that kind; and thus the verdict applies to all such acts. Such a principle may therefore be called a form of utilitarian generalization.”
David Lyons (1965), Forms and Limits of Utilitarianism, Oxford, S. 1.
“(UG) An act is right if and only if the consequences of its being performed by the agent and all other agents similarly situated are at least as good as the consequences of any other available act’s being performed by the agent and all other agents similarly situated.
UG is intended to capture traditional utilitarian generalization […].”
Donald H. Regan (1980), Utilitarianism and Co-operation, Oxford, S. 94.
“[...] the principle of utilitarian generalization: “If the consequences of everybody doing X are better than any alternative, then you should do X.” And “If the consequences of everybody failing to do X are better than those of doing X, then you should refrain from doing X.””
John Hospers (1982), Human Conduct. Problems of Ethics, Second Edition, New York u. a., S. 213.
• Brandt, Richard B. (1979): A Theory of the Good and the Right, Oxford, S. 278–85 (“Utilitarian Generalization”).
• Goldman, H. S. (1974): David Lyons on Utilitarian Generalization, Philosophical Studies 26.
• Goldman, H. S. (1978): The ‘Collective’ Interpretation of Utilitarian Generalization, Philosophical Studies 34, S. 207–9.
• Gruzalski, Bart (1981): Utilitarian Generalization, Competing Descriptions, and the Behaviour of Others, Canadian Journal of Philosophy 11, S. 487–504.
• Hoerster, Norbert (1971): Utilitaristische Ethik und Verallgemeinerung, Freiburg/München 1977 (2. Aufl.).
• Hospers, John (1982), Human Conduct. Problems of Ethics, Second Edition, New York u. a., S. 212–16 (“Utilitarian Generalization”).
• Kavka, Gregory S. (1975): Extensional Equivalence and Utilitarian Generalization, Theoria 41.
• Lyons, David (1965), Forms and Limits of Utilitarianism, Oxford, S. 18–29 (“Utilitarian Generalization”).
• Regan, Donald H. (1980), Utilitarianism and Co-operation, Oxford, S. 94–104 (“Utilitarian Generalization”).
• Silverstein, H. (1976): Goldman’s ‘Level-2’ Act Descriptions and Utilitarian Generalization, Philosophical Studies 30.