phil 101 notes - utilitarianism(aka consequentialism...

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9/10/2007 utilitarianism (aka consequentialism) - historically presented as the most recent theory. from the 19th century, mill is its most famous conceptualizer jon stuart mill was a student of jeremy bentham - economist bentham - empiricist, didn't encourage acting on principles that lacked empirical basis ^ this idea affected mill - mill's thesis is empirical empirical qualities of mill's theory - people want happiness, they do what will make them happy. happiness is mill's foundational idea you're supposed to be focused on the consequences of acts, not the acts mill is an act utilitarian - he considers specific acts and how they affect global happiness consequences - how others are affected by our acts, and the quality of that effect. this constitutes the moral content of this theory mill - at age 25, he suffered a sick breakdown. from this breakdown came one of the only normative theories that affected political actions. the rise of democracy at the same time as the conception of utilitarianism makes sense. USA still
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