Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Equal consideration of interests

"Equal consideration of interests" is the name of 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.

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

The principle of equal consideration of interests is extremely egalitarian: as such, it opposes not only racism and sexism, but also speciesism and some forms of nationalism.