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PHL 344 Moral Theories - utilitarianism consequentialism...

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utilitarianism,( consequentialism): Always act so as to bring about the greatest amount of good overall: All consequences are morally relevant, Nothing else is morally relevant, So: not a matter of following absolute rules; what’s right depends on the circumstances, maximize good outcomes. Problems: What counts as the good ? Happiness (“Classical Utilitarianism”) Preference satisfaction List of specific objective goods (friendship, knowledge, beauty, liberty…….) UNWORKABILITY/CONCEPTUAL PROBLEMS (a) we can’t know the consequences (especially long-term ones) (b) concept of happiness (or good) too unclear (c) incomparability of different goods (and the goods of different people) UNINTUITIVE (SEEMINGLY IMMORAL) IMPLICATIONS (i) Rights (ii) Backward-looking considerations (e.g., promises) (iii) Distributive justice Benefits: sensitive to particular circumstances, impartial, allows for measurements, relates to both individual and policy decisions. Egalitarianism: Everything should be equal. Libertarianism: freedom/ autonomy from the government is the most important. As long as you don’t break certain laws you should be exempt from certain government policies.
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