Why Happiness Includes Fairness: An Essay in Soft Utilitarian Ethics

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A study of ethical principles and theories. Dr. Meynell defines the good in ethical matters as depending in large part, although not entirely, on how an action effects the happiness of and the fairness to sentient beings. He calls this “soft utilitarianism”.


“The study attempts to bring two traditions together, the Kantian and the utilitarian traditions. He accomplishes this fusion in his own unique style. He has also introduced a novel attempt to integrate current psychological literature and pop psychology into the study. His concluding remarks bring out the tensions in current attitudes toward sexuality and religion…The study is a stimulating and open conversation written in a style in which we can profit from Dr. Meynell’ s extensive experience and background.”
-Professor Emeritus, Ernest McCullough,
University of Saskatchewan

“Meynell’s book is a first-rate study in ethics…Meynell claims, and I think rightly, that there is no one thing that moral goodness is exactly, and that whether an act is good or bad depends, as Aristotle recognized, on balancing pros and cons of the act in question, and trying to come to a rational, responsible decision as to which act, or omission, is the best in the circumstances.”
-Prof. Leonard S. Carrier,
The Leland Stanford, Jr. University

Table of Contents

Preface by Ernest McCullough< br> Acknowledgments
Chapter 1 Of the Good in General
Chapter 2 Happiness (1)
Chapter 3 Happiness (2)
Chapter 4 Psychology and Morality
Chapter 5 Two Aims of Practical Reason, and the Relevance of Religion
Chapter 6 On Sexual Morality and the Coolidge Effect
Chapter 7 Conclusion
Grumbling Appendix: Some Political Questions

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