justice section question

justice section question - Core Course MR 22 Justice...

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Katharina Held Tuesday 30, 2003 Utilitarianism II, Libertarianism I Lifeboat Case Discussion: - Did the prisoners argue and decide rationally? (Desire/Necessity vs. Ratio) - Did they act intentionally? - How did they interfere with the rights of the boy? (Euthanasia) Thesis: Necessity will excuse an act which would otherwise be a crime Question: How is necessity linked to morality? II. Bentham Morality : An action which is conformable to the Principle of Utility ought to be done; it is right it should be done, it is a right action (I,X) Do we have any other basis for defining s.th as right or wrong? The Principle of Utility : What is does the Principle of Utility say? „By the Principle of Utility is meant that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever, according to the tendency which it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party which is in question“ (that is „the community in general“) (I, IIf.) „the greatest happiness for the greatest number“ Questions: - Happiness = Pleasure, since pleasure and pain are the sovereign masters of mankind and the criteria for choice and avoidance - Since happiness is pleasure and pleasure is the natural criterion for choice, everything which supports pleasure is beneficial (see I,I) - „The Community is a fictious body, composed of the individual persons who are considered as constituting as its members.“ (I,IV) Problems: - Can happiness consist in something else than pleasure? - Are pleasure and pain the only criteria for choice and avoidance - Doesn‘t a community consist in more than in just the sum of its parts? The evaluation of pleasure and pain The hedonic calculus: Adding pleasures and subtracting pains with reference to: intensity, duration, certainty, propinquity, fecundity, purity and extent Problems: - Only the quantity of pleasures counts - What is the relevant community when performing utilitarian calculations? General Objections against Benthams theory
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course MORAL REAS 22 taught by Professor Sandel during the Fall '05 term at Harvard.

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justice section question - Core Course MR 22 Justice...

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