Lecture 7--Utilitarianism-Some Objections and Revisions ctools

Lecture 7--Utilitarianism-Some Objections and Revisions ctools

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Utilitarianism:  Objections Lecture 4: Tues, January 18th Lecture 4: Tues, January 18th
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Some Problems with Utilitarianism,  Some Problems with Utilitarianism,  cont. cont. Utilitarianism is Too Demanding The Envelope Case It requires us to make great sacrifice regarding our  income and life-plans if doing so would produce  more utility Impartiality and Personal Relationships It seems to require us to engage in a radical kind of  impartiality –we cannot treat out family/friends  specially if treating them the same as everyone else  produces more utility 2
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Some Problems with Utilitarianism,  Some Problems with Utilitarianism,  cont. cont. Utilitarianism Is Self-Defeating It would require us to stop and calculate the  pleasures and pains before we engage in any  action This would lead to us spending virtually every  minute of the day engaged in calculation This would lead to bad consequences 3
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Some Problems with Utilitarianism,  Some Problems with Utilitarianism,  cont. cont. Utilitarianism is Not Demanding Enough It fails to capture the sense in which people have  rights—e.g. Organ Farming 1) If U is true, then it is morally right to kill 1  person in order to use their organs to save 5 other  people who need organ-transplants. 2) But it is clearly not morally right to kill 1  person….to save 5 others… 3) Therefore, U is NOT true. 4
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Some Problems with Utilitarianism,  Some Problems with Utilitarianism,  cont. cont. Typical utilitarian response: say premise 1 is false because in the organ- farming situation it actually would not maximize  utility to kill the patient But we can play around with the details of the case.  We can  add in the details we need to describe a situation in which the  utilitarian can’t deny that killing the patient would indeed  maximize utility 5
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Objections: Rule Utilitarianism Distinguish Act- and Rule-Utilitarianism Act-Utilitarianism (what we saw last lecture): the  right  action  is the one which maximizes utility Rule-Utilitarianism : the right act is the one which  is in accord with  the set of rules  which best  maximize utility.  Example: The Sheriff and the Racial 
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Lecture 7--Utilitarianism-Some Objections and Revisions ctools

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