Consequentialist Utilitarianism

Consequentialist Utilitarianism is the form of utilitarianism that determines what is good and bad by reference to consequences.


Consequentialism claims that (moral) goodness and badness depend only on consequences, facts, or outcomes. Utilitarianism claims that goodness and badness are determined by the degree to which the good is maximized over the bad, which are typically measured by utility functions. The most common form of both schools of thought is their merger: consequentialist utilitarianism, the claim that the best courses of action are the ones that maximize the goodness of consequences over the badness of the consequences.

One approach taken to formalizing consequentialist utilitarianism is to provide a constraint on utility functions so that anything influencing the output of the utility function is a possible outcome of the action concerned.


(documentation ConsequentialistUtilitarianism EnglishLanguage "Consequentialism is a moral theory that holds 
that 'whether an act is morally right depends only on consequences' (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
Utilitarianism is the ethical paradigm that judges the morality of an action based on whether it maximizes the 
good over the bad, which is typically determined via a utility function.  
Consequentialist utilitarianism combines both: what is good or bad depends on the consequences.")

(subclass ConsequentialistUtilitarianism Consequentialism)
(subclass ConsequentialistUtilitarianism Utilitarianism)  

(documentation ConsequentialistUtilitarianTheory EnglishLanguage "A set of consequentialist sentences.")
(subclass ConsequentialistUtilitarianTheory ConsequentialistTheory)
(subclass ConsequentialistUtilitarianTheory UtilitarianTheoryTheory)

  (instance ?CUT ConsequentialistUtilitarianTheory)
  (forall (?S)
      (element ?S ?CUT)
      (forall (?P ?UF ?FORMULA)
            (part ?P ?S)
            (equal ?P (AssignmentFn ?UF ?FORMULA))
            (instance ?FORMULA Formula)
            (instance ?UF UtilityFormulaFn))
          (instance ?UF ConsequentialistUtilityFormulaFn))))))

Consequentialist Utilitarianism is defined as a subclass of both utilitarianism and consequentialism where, for all theories, each instance of a utility function is a consequentialist utility function.

(documentation ConsequentialistUtilityFormulaFn EnglishLanguage "A UnaryFunction that maps Formulas to the net utility 
of that which is described where the utility measurement only depends on the consequences of an action.")
(subclass ConsequentialistUtilityFormulaFn UtilityFormulaFn)

  (instance ?UF ConsequentialistUtilityFormulaFn)
  (domain ?UF 1 ActionFormula))

    (instance ?UF ConsequentialistUtilityFormulaFn)
    (realizesFormulaSubclass ?CPROC ?FORMULA)
    (subclass ?CPROC AutonomousAgentProcess))
  (forall (?X)
      (influences ?X (ConsequentialistUtilityFormulaFn ?FORMULA))
        (instance ?X Consequence)
          (exists (?IPROC)
              (instance ?IPROC ?CPROC)
              (result ?IPROC ?X))) Possibility)))))

Consequentialist utility functions are defined as a subclass of utility functions. The domain is limited to action formulas that can be realized by a class of actions. For every consequentialist utility function, formula, and class of actions, every entity that influences the output of the function is a physical outcome and a possible result of some instance of this class of actions1I welcome suggestions as to more concrete ways to approach this..

(documentation influences EnglishLanguage "The influence relation between instances of Entities (influences ?ENTITY1 ?ENTITY2 denotes that ?ENTITY has some effect on ?ENTITY2")
(domain influences 1 Entity)
(domain influences 2 Entity)
(instance influences BinaryPredicate)
(relatedInternalConcept influences causes)

  (causes ?P1 ?P2)
  (influences ?P1 ?P2))

  (influences ?E1 ?E2)
  (exists (?CHANGE ?PROCESS)
      (instance ?CHANGE Change)
      (patient ?CHANGE ?E2)
      (causes ?PROCESS ?CHANGE)
      (involvedInEvent ?PROCESS ?E1))))

I chose a weak ontology-level definition for influences. First, if process P1 causes P2, then P1 influences P2. Next, if entity E1 influences E2, then there exists a change C to E2 and a process P that causes C such that E1 is involved in P. The reverse implication should hold in the case that E1 is the agent in P. Some other case roles, yet not all, may also qualify as having an influence.