Arithmetic justice? The limits of the utilitarian political paradigm


  • Gabriel Chalmeta Pontificia Università della Santa Croce



The immense majority of the social agents operating the Welfare State, from the ordinary citizen to the highest offices of the State, frequently apply a rational criterion of justice which may be expressed thus: a political society is the more just, the higher the number of goods X per capita. This is an idea that synthesizes the central theses of political utilitarianism. The author of these pages has tried to identify the reasons present in the common ethos on account of which this rational criterion, if understood as a fundamental paradigm of political justice, leads us into many grave errors of evaluation and conduct. And, in particular, he has sought to explain why all this happens not only when the goods considered are strictly material and of a ‘hedonistic’ tendency, but also when other, ‘higher’ goods, of a cultural or spiritual nature, are taken into account.



How to Cite

Chalmeta, Gabriel. “Arithmetic Justice? The Limits of the Utilitarian Political Paradigm”. Acta Philosophica 7, no. 1 (March 1, 1998): 5–22. Accessed April 17, 2024.




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