John Rawls: Two Concepts of Rules

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John Rawls: Two Concepts of Rules

June 19 @ 18:30 - 20:30 AEST

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The moral theory of utilitarianism (the idea that rightness and wrongness is determined solely by the consequences for good and bad) has a number of classic objections. In his seminal essay, ‘Two Concepts of Rules’, John Rawls defends utilitarianism against the objection that utilitarianism allows immoral acts, such as framing an innocent person and breaking a promise. Leslie Allan will take us through Rawls’s essay, highlighting his key arguments for a strengthened version of rule utilitarianism and reflecting on the lasting influence of his analysis. Reading Rawls’s essay before the session is recommended if you want to get the most out of it.

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Download Rawls’s essay here >

Read Leslie Allan’s review here >

BIO: Leslie Allan academically trained in philosophy and history of religions at La Trobe University. In his working life, Leslie’s career spanned electronics, information technology, training and development and business improvement. Over the years, he has authored many articles and given various talks on humanism, ethics, religion and philosophy. In 2018, Leslie started up Australia’s first Ex-Religious Support Network. Twice, he served as Vice-President for Humanists Victoria and currently sits on the Board of Humanists Australia. He also runs the Philosophy Matters Meetup and is owner of, a web site dedicated to exploring the boundaries between science and philosophy.


June 19
18:30 - 20:30 AEST
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