Act%20Utilitarianism%20-%20A%20Closer%20Look%20%28Wilhelm%2c%20Dr.%20Utility%2c%20and%20Trolleys%29-

Act%20Utilitarianism%20-%20A%20Closer%20Look%20%28Wilhelm%2c%20Dr.%20Utility%2c%20and%20Trolleys%29-

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Medical Ethics Darin Harootunian 10/3/11 2 There are several “technical” terms that need to be explained: happiness , unhappiness , maximize the net amount (or minimize the net amount ), and affected parties . We’ll consider these tec hnical terms in a moment. For now, consider what is sometimes called the Principle of Utility, or perhaps the Greatest Happiness Principle: The Principle of Utility (or Greatest Happiness Principle): Always act so as to maximize the net amount of happiness across all affected parties. Notice that the Principle of Utility is an imperative. It doesn’t tell u s which acts are morally right. AU, a criterion of rightness, took care of that. The Principle of Utility, as formulated here, tells us what to do: Act so as to maximize the net amount of happiness across all the parties affected by it! Remember that AU is not a form of Ethical Egoism (EE). The moral agent according to EE is self-interested . The moral agent according to AU is disinterested
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This note was uploaded on 11/07/2011 for the course PHIL 164 taught by Professor Doviak during the Fall '07 term at UMass (Amherst).

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