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Flashcards in Utilitarianism Deck (19)
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1




Act Utilitarianism



Looks at the consequences of each individual act and calculates utility each time the act is performed

2




Rule Utilitarianism



Looks at the consequences of having everyone follow a particular rule and calculates the overall utility of accepting or rejecting the rule

3




Teleological ethics



Concerned with whether something is right or wrong depends on the result or end pf that action

Consequentialist

4




Preference Utilitarianism



Entails promoting actions that fulfil the interests of those involved

5




Principle of utility



The idea that the choice that brings about the greatest good for the greatest number is the right choice

6




Hedonism



Someone who lives for the pursuit of pleasure and elieveate suffering

7




Quantitative



The amount of happiness and pleasure and the amount of pain

Jeremy Bentham

8




Qualitative



Focused on the quality

JS Mill

9




All human beings are governed by 2 sovereign masters



Pain and pleasure

10




Utilitarianism



The right thing to do and the just thing to do is to maximise the balance of pleasure over pain and happiness over suffering

11




Bentham's hedonic calculus



- Purity (accompanied by pain-painless)
- Richness (lone pleasure-brings many joys)
- Remoteness (distant-immediate)
- Intensity (mild-intense)
- Certainty (unlikely-probable)
-Extent (affects just one person-affects lots of people)
- Duration (brief-lasting)

12




Bernard Williams



Utilitarianism is attractive for 4 reasons
- Does not require a religious belief, so it fits world and many cultures
- Basic good, happiness, well-being or preference is reasonable = who doesn't want to be happy
- suggests moral problems can be solved through a reasonable process rather than a religious theory
- Offers common currency of moral thought that seems straight forward to apply

13




Criticisms



- Relies on guesses about the future and predictions about what the greatest good in the long term would be
- Offers no reason to prohibit any action (some actions can never be justified eg child torture and rape)
- Unfairness towards minorities
- Horrendous acts
- Can you measure good or pleasure

14




Bentham strengths



- Maximises happiness = a happier society (quantitive)
- 1 persons happiness is equal to another's
- Based on 1 principle and aim
- Useful among different religions and cultures
- Pleasure over pain

15




Bentham weaknesses



- Doesn't take into account breaking rules and actions
- Ideas of pain and pleasure differ for each person
- Not all pleasure is morally good
- Doesn't take into account emotional decisions (family)
- Not helpful for minority groups

16




Mill strengths



- Theory is qualitative
- Pleasure over pain

17




Mill weaknesses



- No help for minority groups
- Think we can predict the future (we don't think about after immediate outcome)

18




RM Hare
(Preference utilitarianism)



- We should treat everyone and ourselves with impartiality
- With moral decisions we need to consider our own preferences as well as others = 'equal preferences count equally, whatever their content'
- We should be able to do what is best for us as long as it doesn't conflict with the preferences of others

19




Peter Singer



- Best possible consequences = best interests of individuals involved
- Not considering what increases pleasure and diminishes pain
- Equal consideration of preferences or interests act like a pair of scales = everyones preferences are weighed equally