Equal consideration of interests

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The principle of 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 term "equal consideration of interests" first appeared in Australian moral philosopher Peter Singer's 1979 book Practical Ethics.[2] Singer asserts that if all beings, not just humans, 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.[3] Jeremy Bentham argued that a being's capacity to suffer is what is morally relevant when considering their interests, not their capacity for reason.[4]

The principle is related to broader philosophical concepts of impartiality, though impartiality can refer to many other senses of equality, particularly in justice.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guidi, Marco E. L. (2008-02-01). ""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 (4). doi:10.4000/etudes-benthamiennes.182. ISSN 1760-7507.
  2. ^ Singer, Peter (1993). Practical Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-521-43971-8. The essence of the principle of equal consideration of interests is that we give equal weight in our moral deliberations to the like interests of all those affected by our actions.
  3. ^ Duignan, Brian (2010-07-30). "Speciesism". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  4. ^ Bentham, Jeremy. 1780. "Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence." pp. 307–35 in An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. London: T. Payne and Sons. "The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?"
  5. ^ "Impartiality". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2002.