Ethics III Utilitarianism

Ethics III Utilitarianism - Utilitarianism . . .and Some...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–10. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Utilitarianism . . .and Some Evolutionary Biology
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Utilitarianism is an Ethical Theory That Judges Actions Right or Wrong Based on the Consequences of Those Actions, Cashed Out in Positive or Negative Subjective Experiences Relating ethics to states of “feeling” was suggested by David Hume, but the ethical theory was founded and developed by British philosophers Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill Bentham’s version defended a “hedonic calculus” for measuring quantities of pleasure and pain in terms of intensity, duration, certainty, nearness, fruitfulness, purity, and extent. Some of its early critics called it the “pig philosophy,” since the pleasures of a pig wallowing in a mudhole could add up to a greater quantity than the positive subjective feelings of Socrates if he was dissatisfied.
Background image of page 2
The Panoptico n Jeremy Bentham was also the inventor of the Panopticon The Panopticon is a design for a prison in which one central observer can see all of the prisoners but the prisoners can’t see the observer. They will come to feel watched all of the time, and such “external control” will ensure good behavior.
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Utilitarianism is Simple and Intuitive, and Probably the Way Most of us Make Decisions Most of the Time Jeremy Bentham, the other co-founder of Utilitarianism, famously said, “Pushpin is Better than Poetry”— because it gave pleasure to a greater number of people. There were many critics of a pleasure-based system of ethics, however. “Utility” Is cashed out in Subjective Experience —Positive or Negative
Background image of page 4
Utilitarianism Characterizing the Theory Consequentialist: actions are judged right or wrong according to their consequences’ production of “utility” Aggregative: the aim is maximizing the total amount of “utility” overall, in the aggregate Egalitarian: “Each to count for one, and none for more than one” (Jeremy Bentham); no one person’s “utility” weighs more than another’s
Background image of page 5

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
INTENTION CONSEQUENC E Kantians Focus on the Intent of the Act Utilitarians Focus on the Consequenc es of the Act
Background image of page 6
Utilitarianism in Action
Background image of page 7

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 8
The “Utilitarian Calculus” A +10 units of “utility” (Silas being visited) -8 units of “utility” (visiting) +2 units of “utility” (self- righteousness) = -6 units of “utility” (for yourself) +4 units of utility (you + Silas overall) B -10 units of “utility” (not being visited) +2 units (complaint) = -8 units of “utility” +10 units of “utility” (watching football) -2 units of “utility” (feeling guilty) = +8 units of “utility” 0 units of utility (you + Silas overall) Uncle Silas Yourself Total “Utility”
Background image of page 9

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 10
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 61

Ethics III Utilitarianism - Utilitarianism . . .and Some...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 10. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online