UTI 2 - Utilitarianism: Part II CU = Consequentialist...

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1 Utilitarianism: Part II CU = Consequentialist Principle, AND… Hedonic Principle, AND… Equality Principle. Moore’s Argument for Utilitarianism Ideal Utilitarianism : There are intrinsic goods in addition to pleasure (happiness) PHIL203: Ethics Ideal Utilitarianism Three Intrinsic Goods: Happiness Friendship Aesthetic enjoyment
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2 Ideal Utilitarianism Notice that all three imply consciousness. Moore’s Argument Moore’s argument is not specific to Ideal utilitarianism, but applies to CU as well. Moore’s Argument for Utilitarianism According to Consequentialism, one’s moral duty is to promote the good and to promote it in a maximizing way. • Do that action from among those available to you, which makes the world better-off than it otherwise would be. PHIL203: Ethics
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3 Moore’s Argument for Utilitarianism Moore’s Argument: 1. It would be wrong to perform an action concerning which we knew that it would make the world worse- off than if we had performed another action available to us. And, PHIL203: Ethics Moore’s Argument for Utilitarianism 2. Proposition (1) is self-evident (it is obviously true). So, PHIL203: Ethics Moore’s Argument for Utilitarianism 3. One’s moral duty is to perform that action, from among those actions available to one, that makes the world better-off. PHIL203: Ethics
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4 Moore’s Argument for Utilitarianism Therefore: 4. Consequentialism is the correct moral theory. PHIL203: Ethics Moore’s Argument for Utilitarianism Does Moore’s argument really support Consequentialism? PHIL203: Ethics Moore’s Argument Moore’s argument implies what we’ll call Principle M.
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5 Moore’s Argument for Utilitarianism M. for all persons S and actions m and n , if m is morally better than n , and S can do either m or n , but not both, and S knows this, and S does n , then S is not as good a person as she otherwise could have been. PHIL203: Ethics Moore’s Argument for Utilitarianism But does M have to do with the violation of duty Or: the failure to perform a supererogatory act? PHIL203: Ethics Moore’s Argument for Utilitarianism Suppose a married couple wished to have a child. They learn that a kind of genetic engineering is available to them, such that they could have a “super-kid”.
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6 Moore’s Argument for Utilitarianism Would the couple do wrong by foregoing the genetic engineering and having a “natural” child? Clearly not. Moore’s Argument for Utilitarianism Is the couple thereby less good, or morally deficient? It is hard to see how. Moore’s Argument for Utilitarianism Or suppose the wife is already pregnant, and the couple finds out that the fetus very likely has Down’s Syndrome, or is autistic. Is the couple obligated to abort and try again?
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7 Moore’s Argument for Utilitarianism Clearly not. But if not, then (1) and Principle M are
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This note was uploaded on 06/08/2008 for the course PHIL 203 taught by Professor Jordan during the Spring '08 term at University of Delaware.

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UTI 2 - Utilitarianism: Part II CU = Consequentialist...

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