Equal consideration of interests

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"Equal consideration of interests" is a moral principle that states that one should both include all affected interests when calculating the rightness of an action and weigh those interests equally.[1]

The principle therefore opposes theories that either exclude some interests from the moral calculus or weigh certain interests differently from others. Jeremy Bentham's early 1800s dictum, "each to count for one, and none for more than one" can be considered an early formulation of the principle of equal consideration of interests, and a basis for the broader philosophy of utilitarianism. The principle comes from, and underlies the views of Peter Singer, who has explicitly adopted it as the foundation of his ethical theory.

If all beings, not just human, are included as having interests that must be considered, then the principle of equal consideration of interests opposes not only racism and sexism, but also speciesism.[2]


The term "equal consideration of interests" first appeared in Peter Singer's Practical Ethics.


  1. ^ Marco E.L. Guidi, “Everybody to count for one, nobody for more than one”: The Principle of Equal Consideration of Interests from Bentham to Pigou, Revue d’études benthamiennes, vol. 4 (2008)
  2. ^ Bentham, Jeremy. Introduction to the Principles and Morals of Legislation, "Corollary 1" of Chapter 17. published 1823.