CBA, Utilitarianism, and Reliance upon Intuitions

  • Peter S. Wenz
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 21)


In the present essay, I explore the relationship between cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and utilitarianism. I find that CBA receives its greatest theoretical support from utilitarianism. In fact, it is nearly identical to one form of that ethical theory and shares with utilitarianism the ideal of replacing reliance on intuitive judgments with reliance on calculative rationality. At the same time, however, CBA suffers from some of the weaknesses of utilitarianism, which render it unreliable as an analytic tool. While modifications to CBA address some of these weaknesses, they virtually abandon the original ideal of replacing intuitions with calculations, because the modifications can be justified and employed only through the use of intuitions.


Discount Rate Tennis Player Shadow Prex Intuitive Judgment Equity Consideration 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter S. Wenz
    • 1
  1. 1.Sangamon State UniversitySpringfieldUSA

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