Front Page Titles (by Subject) Non-utilitarian, Anti-welfarist Morality - Literature of Liberty, Spring 1980, vol. 3, No. 1
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Non-utilitarian, Anti-welfarist Morality - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, Spring 1980, vol. 3, No. 1 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Non-utilitarian, Anti-welfarist Morality
“Utilitarianism and Welfarism” The Journal of Philosophy 76, no. 9(September 1979):463–484.
Do the non-utilitarian sources or components of a certain moral outcome (for example, that the outcome has to be caused by some injury done to an innocent person) affect the desirability or value of that outcome? For Sen, the goodness or desirability of outcomes can be considered apart from whether it is right to produce them because some outcomes might not even be produced by humans). But it can’t be considered good apart from the non-utilitarian values that are involved in that outcome (like the dis-value of any pleasure derived from torturing innocents).
Sen divides his criticism of “outcome utilitarianism” (the view that the value of an outcome is a function of the sum of individual utilities in that outcome) into its two component parts: (a) “sum-ranking” —i.e., the view that the addition of individual utilities is an appropriate method of aggregation, and (b) “welfarism”—i.e. the view that value is a strict and positive function of the utilities comprising an outcome. He criticizes “sum-ranking” or full commensurability for utility on the grounds that it fails to give due importance to the distribution of intrapersonal value over time. The tragedy of King Lear’s fate, for example, cannot be considered “offset” by the fact that he was unusually fortunate in the earlier parts of his long life.
“Welfarism” is then criticized because even when we compare equally distributed outcomes over time, we cannot abstract from the non-utilitarian components of those outcomes. An outcome that involves torture is not the moral equivalent of an equally distributed outcome that does not involve any such torture. Nor is this merelya morally objectionable implication of utilitarianism at the “level-one” or “intuitive” level of thinking, as R.M. Hare might argue, since a person could be a non-utilitarian, “anti-welfarist” at the level of critical thinking. A libertarian on the critical level, for example, who recognized dis-analogies between the sphere of peoples’ personal values (e.g. reading pornography) and the sphere of impersonal, public values, could consistently hold that the same weight should not be given to his own, prudish displeasure at someone else’s reading of pornography, and that other person’s delight in doing so.