Philosophy Summary

Philosophy Summary - Philosophy Summary Utilitarianism...

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Philosophy Summary Utilitarianism Utilitarian says that things which are morally correct when it maximizes utility compared to other choices o E.g. If you could save a scientist or a taxi driver from dying who would you save? Most people would say scientist since he has potential to create the most utility There have been two suggestions to measuring utility o Quantity – empathizes on factors which can be measured (e.g. how long an event makes you happy, how many people it effects). The event with the higher score should be the better option. o Quality – argues that quantity is not enough, sometimes you have to consider the quality of happiness (e.g. reading a book and going to the beach. Going to the beach makes you happier and longer but it is arguable that reading has more quality) Criticisms of Utilitarian 1. It is hard to measure happiness or utility and therefore sometimes it is impossible to decide which action is better 2. It is hard to predict the future. Since actions lead to other actions we have to consider all the consequences of an action. For example, if you saved a scientist but after that he develops a deadly weapon your action of saving him may be the wrong one. There is no way to know what the future is so we cannot measure the goodness of an action. 3. Utilitarianism does not care about intentions. Even if an action is done from evil intention it will be morally correct if it yields good results. If someone kills for fun but kills a terrorist it is correct in utilitarianism. 4. Utilitarian only cares about results not the means to achieve it. Example: 4 patients are dying, the doctor kills a visitor and takes the organs to distribute to the four patients – 1 person dies but saves 4 means that it is morally correct according to utilitarianism. 5. It contradicts with special duties. If a teacher is a Utilitarian she will give all A’s to maximize utility; however, doing so will contradict with her duty of being a teacher.
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Kantian Ethics All actions are based on a principle which is then judged by a set of rules. Actions are morally correct if and only if it is done because it is a duty, having emotions is immoral. The Formulation Rule of Kantianism: 1. Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it would become a universal law. 1. Create a principle behind an action o For example, If you owe your friend money and he keeps annoying you to give it back so you think of lying to him that you gave it back. The principle behind this lying could be “people have to lie” 2. Test this principle whether it is right or wrong by imagining a world that everyone holds on to this principle. If it is possible it is then morally correct o Using the same example “people have to lie”. If everyone lies then it is impossible to teach people that “people must lie” because you will have to lie by saying “people must speak the truth”. Therefore, when all the liars die out the people who are left will speak the truth. 2.
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This note was uploaded on 02/13/2012 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor Teerana during the Spring '11 term at Thammasat University.

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Philosophy Summary - Philosophy Summary Utilitarianism...

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