Utilitarianism - Utilitarianism Definition: the ethical...

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Utilitarianism Definition : the ethical doctrine that the moral worth of an action is solely determined by its contribution to overall utility, defined as happiness or pleasure (versus suffering or pain),
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Utilitarianism Jeremy Bentham Greatest Happiness Principle: Intensity: How strong is the pleasure? Duration: How long will the pleasure last? Certainty or Uncertainty: How likely or unlikely is it that the pleasure will occur? Propinquity or Remoteness : How soon will the pleasure occur? Fecundity: The probability that the action will be followed by sensations of the same kind. Purity: The probability it will be followed by sensations of the opposite kind. Extent: How many people will be affected?
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Jeremy Bentham Begin with any one person of those whose interests seem most immediately to be affected by it: and take an account: Of the value of each distinguishable pleasure which appears to be produced by it in the first instance. Of the value of each pain which appears to be produced by it in the first instance. Of the value of each pleasure which appears to be produced by it after the first. This constitutes the fecundity of the first pleasure and the impurity of the first pain. Of the value of each pain which appears to be produced by it after the first. This constitutes the fecundity of the first pain, and the impurity of the first pleasure.
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Jeremy Bentham Sum up all the values of all the pleasures on the one side, and those of all the pains on the other. The balance, if it be on the side of pleasure, will give the good tendency of the act upon the whole, with respect to the interests of that individual person; if on the side of pain, the bad tendency of it upon the whole. Take an account of the number of persons whose interests appear to be concerned; and repeat the above process with respect to each. Sum up the numbers expressive of the degrees of good tendency, which the act has, with respect to each individual, in regard to whom the tendency of it is good upon the whole. Do this again with respect to each individual, in regard to whom the tendency of it is bad upon the whole. Take the balance which if on the side of pleasure, will give the general good tendency of the act, with respect to the total number or community of individuals concerned; if on the side of pain, the general evil tendency, with respect to the same community.
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Jeremy Bentham Practical example: imagine you are a doctor driving to a patient, a young mother who is about to give birth. It looks like she will need a Caesarian section. It is late at night and you come across a car accident on the country road you are traveling on. Two cars are involved in the accident and both drivers are unconscious and have visible injuries. One of the men is the father of the child you are going to
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This note was uploaded on 01/12/2012 for the course POL 2 taught by Professor Robertbrown during the Fall '05 term at Riverside Community College.

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Utilitarianism - Utilitarianism Definition: the ethical...

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