Philosophy Notes 2

Philosophy Notes 2 - Utilitarianism 1.Hedonistic Principle...

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Utilitarianism 1.Hedonistic Principle - ultimately pleasure is the only intrisic good . 2.Teleological Principle- holds that actions have purposes or ends it is goal oriented Epicurus -clearly a hedonist in the sense that he believed that pleasure was the only intrinsic good and that all other goods were good only insofar as they were a means to pleasure. -Epicurus differentiated between psychological hedonism and ethical hedonism (consistend with Bentham) - we are born with a sense of what feels good and what feels bad -consistent with Aristotle that happiness is the highest good -Not consistent with Aristippus view that immediate sensual gratification was the highest good. Viewed happiness as closely tied to desire and desire fufillment: -Moving: pleasures: that pleasure which one experiences while in the process of satisfying a desire -Static Pleasure: the pleasure that results from having a desire satisfied (eg. having ones hunger satisfied) -If pleasure is desire fufillment, then pain is desire frustration, argues Epicurus. -Therefore the key to happiness lies in controlling one's desires (Aristotelian influence?) -Epicurus claimed that our fear of the future caused pain in the form of anxiety -Overcoming desire (particularly for wealth and luxury) and anxiety over the future led to Ataraxia Utilitarianism in the middle ages -During the 3rd to 15th centureies AD, philosophical studed was dominated by the Catholic Church -the church saw hedonism as ungodly, or even sinful - utilitarian -Also saw certain acts as intrinsically good or bad 0 also UNutilitarian Middle Ages - Much of what was taken as the righ and wrong way to live was based on revealed truth - however, some prominent figures such as Thomas Aquinas saw reason, as a God given human capacity, as the means of discovering the true meaning of life and how we should live our lives - The ascetic life of the monk is meditationn would be seen by middle age Christians as both the means to knowledge of life's purpose and contradictory to hedonism -However the teleological principle might not be inconsistent with the middle age Christians in the sense that they viewed life and what we did in life, as principally goal directed. Early Modern to Contemporary Utilitarians Thomas Hobbes: - social contract theory: we all have a contract Joh stuart mill - learned greek by age 3 - Latin by age 8 -By the age of fourteen he had read most of the greek and Latin Classics, had made a wide survey of history, had done extensive work in logic and mathematics and had mastered the basics of economic theory. -At age 16 he began studying benthams utilitariansism. -Believing that the just society could be determined scientifically the mathematical character of benthams moral philosophy struck true with Mill -nervous breakdown at age 20 -Spent most of his professional life as a corresponder for teh east India Company
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-Served one term in the House of commons -Married Harriet Taylor in 1851 -Wrote extensively on politics, social philosophy, ethics, logic and religion; but never worked as a
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This note was uploaded on 04/24/2008 for the course PHIL 100 taught by Professor Paulberger during the Fall '07 term at CSU Long Beach.

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Philosophy Notes 2 - Utilitarianism 1.Hedonistic Principle...

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