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Unformatted text preview: lessly carries out, might be justifiable even if the methods were somewhat painful: the amount of toothache and illness in store for a man will usually far outweigh the brief misery of the stiletto in his back. In general, then, NU will be unconvincing whenever we are concerned wit the cutting off of life. 3. POSITIVE UTILITY CAPTURES MORE BENEFITS THAN NEGATIVE UTILITY R. N. Smart, Professor of Philosophy at the University of London, MIND, Vol. 67, 1958, p. 543. As indicated above, positive utilitarianism ('Maximize happiness') does better in these matters; and incidentally it covers a large part of the ground covered by NU, since although a happy man does not suffer appreciably less when tortured, a tortured person, especially one of tender years, may well turn out to be less happy. SLHS Value File Utility (Act)
ACT UTILITY APPEALS TO BEST HUMAN FEELINGS: RATIONALITY AND BENEVOLENCE J. J. C. Smart, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Adelaide, PHILOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY, Volume 6, 1956, p. 353. Moral rules, on the extreme utilitarian view, are rules of thumb only, but they are not bad rules of thumb. But if we do come to the conclusion that we should break the rule and if we have weighed in the balance our own fallibility and liability to personal bias, what good reason remains for keeping the rule? I can understand 'it is optimific ' as a reason for action, but why should 'it is a member of a class of actions which are usually optimific' or 'it is a member of a class of actions which as a class are more optimific than any alternative general class' be a good reason? You might as well say a person ought to be picked to play for Australia just because all his brothers have been, or that the Australian team should be composed entirely of the Harvey family because this would be better than composing it entirely of any other family. The extreme utilitarian does not appeal to artificial feelings, but only to our feelings of benevolence, and what better feelings can there be to appeal to? 5...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.
- Fall '13