Key concepts of utilitarianism. SparkNotes: Utilitarianism: Summary 2019-01-08

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a) What are the key concepts of utilitarianism? Essay

key concepts of utilitarianism

This is not to deny that my failure to rescue is wrong and perhaps that the law ought to compel aid in such cases. Furthermore, Mill argues that people's achievement of goals and ends, such as virtuous living, should be counted as part of their happiness. Bentham's ideal of a hedonic calculus is usually considered a practical if not a theoretical impossibility. V 25 This sanction theory of rights is an indirect utilitarian one insofar as it implies that whether someone has a right to something depends not on the utility of that claim but on the utility of our responses to violations of that claim. There are some social circumstances, he thinks, in which democracy will not promote the common good.

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a) What are the key concepts of utilitarianism? Essay

key concepts of utilitarianism

Similarly, Virtue Ethics is concerned with the practical realisation of good character traits for which consequences are at most indirectly relevant, for example if the assessment of consequences happens to be an important feature of the situationally relevant character trait. John Packe's The Life of John Stuart Mill: During his youthful visits to , the country seat of his patron , he had passed his time at falling unsuccessfully in love with all the ladies of the house, whom he courted with a clumsy jocularity, while playing chess with them or giving them lessons on the harpsichord. The truth-tracking argument would provide no argument against censorship in such circumstances. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as determine what we shall do. In this theory, morality, based on rules and customs is acceptable for most situations, but occasionally we will need to use utilitarian thinking where we have to consider the consequences of an action. Among the negative conditions that self-government requires are various liberties of thought and action. They would object to censorship, even by philosopher-kings.

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A Snapshot of Key Ethical Theories

key concepts of utilitarianism

He does not say precisely what standard of expediency he has in mind. I say of every action whatsoever; and therefore not only every action of a private individual, but of every measure of government. Because this account of duty defines the rightness and wrongness of an act, not in terms of its utility, as act utilitarianism does, but in terms of the utility of applying sanctions to the conduct, it is an indirect form of utilitarianism. Though this avoids a regress, it appears to render sanction utilitarianism internally inconsistent. Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website! We can distinguish among pleasures between those that are caused by the exercise of our higher faculties and those that are caused by the exercise of our lower faculties. The question that concerns us here is what kind of utilitarian standard Mill endorses.

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Utilitarianism as an Approach to Ethical Decision Making in Health Care

key concepts of utilitarianism

As we have seen, Mill cannot think that harm prevention is sufficient to justify restricting liberty. Later, Mill distinguishes between genuine harm and mere offense. Deontologists recognize moral constraints on pursuing the good. To determine when offense nuisance regulation is permissible and when it is not, Feinberg employs a balancing test in which we must weigh the seriousness of the offense e. Instead, he continued to promote his new ethical philosophy and argued that it was the only way that we could go. This says that the ethically right choice in a given situation is the one that produces the most happiness and the least unhappiness for the largest number of people.


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The Failure of Utilitarian Ethics in Political Economy: Independent Institute

key concepts of utilitarianism

Popper also argued that to promote happiness was too idealistic and impractical so he invented negative utilitarianism which aims to minimise misery. In general, Utilitarianism highlights that the consequences of our actions are important for how we understand the morality of our actions. Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure Principles I 1. Another criticism is that utilitarianism as a whole can justify wrong doings in desperate times of need, such as torture, in extreme situations; it may be seen as justifiable to torture someone as long as it will bring about happiness to many people, even though such an act would usually be considered as unjustifiable and unequivocally wrong. His scientific mind led him to believe that the study of ethics could be undertaken in a practical way, carefully measuring the possible consequences or outcomes of an action before deciding which choice to take. As such, it moves beyond the scope of one's own interests and takes into account the interests of others. Our information about others and our causal reach are not limited as they once were.

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Act utilitarianism

key concepts of utilitarianism

Mill considers a large list of potential natural differences, not restricted to deficits and disqualifiers, including claims that women are 1 more intuitive and practical, less principled and theoretical, than men 305 , 2 more focused on particulars, less capable of abstraction or generalization, than men 306 , 3 more nervous and excitable than men 308 , 4 less single-minded than men 310 , 5 less accomplished in philosophy, science, and art than men 313β€”14 , 6 less original than men 314β€”15 , 7 morally superior to men 320β€”21 , 8 more susceptible to personal bias than men 321 , 9 more pacific and less aggressive than men 329β€”30 , 10 more philanthropic than men 330 , and 11 more self-sacrificing and self-abnegating than men 293. With rule utilitarianism, acts are either right or wrong regardless of what the outcome is. Introduction A normative argument must have a normative premise whether it is explicitly stated or not. The reason why this is so is that an effort to include qualitative factors into oneΒ’s ethical thinking necessarily requires an appeal to some ideal. It states that, when faced with a choice, we must first consider the likely consequences of potential actions and from that choose to do what we believe will generate the most pleasure. This concern with self-examination and practical deliberation is, of course, a central theme in On Liberty. Bentham's arguments were very influential.


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Mill's Moral and Political Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

key concepts of utilitarianism

Not surprisingly, the sanction theory of rights inherits the problems of the sanction theory of duty. Instead they use ethical rules that are derived from considering the general consequences of particular types of acts. In rejecting strong sufficiency, Mill claims that actions that cause losses in a fair competition should not be regulated V 3β€”4. For any given option we must find out how many pleasures and pains it produces, whether those occur in a single life or in different lives. It may be described as a life stance, with happiness or pleasure being of ultimate importance.

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BBC

key concepts of utilitarianism

There is no doubt that his initial formulation of his conception of happiness in terms of pleasure misleadingly leads us to expect greater continuity between his own brand of utilitarianism and the hedonistic utilitarianism of the Radicals than we actually find. This appeared in 11 volumes in 1838β€”1843. References by book, chapter, and section number. Its application should include the family, in particular, relationships between husbands and wives and parents and children V 12. But the traditional hedonist claims that the mental state of pleasure is the one and only intrinsic good; activities can have only extrinsic value, and no activity can be intrinsically more valuable than another.


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