justice shortnotes

justice shortnotes - Justice Exam Outline Principles of...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Justice Exam Outline Principles of Morals and Legislation Jeremy Bentham Mankind is governed by pain and pleasure. Utility is that property which tends to produce happiness. The principle of utility makes utility the criterion for approval or disapproval of every kind of action. The legislator must be able to guage the value of pleasure and pain. These depend on intensity, duration, certainty or uncertainty, propinquity or remoteness; on the probable multiplication of like sensations; and on the number of persons pleasurably or painfully affected. All these being weighed together, if the pleasurable tendency predominates, the act is good; if the painful, bad. The business of government is to promote the happiness of society by rewarding and punishing, especially by punishing acts tending to diminish happiness. Hence with regard to each action we have to consider its circumstances, the intention, motive and the consequences. Punishment, being primarily mischievous, is out of place when groundless, inefficacious, unprofitable, or needless. Punishment is inefficacious when it is ex post facto, or extra-legal, or secret; in the case of irresponsible (including intoxicated) persons; and also so far as the intention of the act was incomplete, or where the act was under compulsion. It is unprofitable when the evils of the punishment outweigh the offence. It is needless when the end can be attained otherwise. Punishment must outweigh the profit of the offence to the doer; (2) the greater the mischief, the greater the expense worth incurring to prevent it; (3) alternative offences which are not equally mischievous, must not be equally punished; (4) the punishment must not be excessive. An offence - a punishable act - is constituted such by the community; though it ought not to be an offence unless contrary to utility, it may be so. Those cases described as unmeet for punishment are all within the realm of personal ethics, but outside the legislative sphere. Utilitarianism John Stuart Mill Another maneuver in his battle with intuitionism came when Mill published Utilitarianism (1861) in installments in Frasers Magazine (it was later brought out in book form in 1863). It offers a candidate for a first principle of morality, a principle that provides us with a criterion distinguishing right and wrong. The utilitarian candidate is the principle of utility, which holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain and the privation of pleasure. ( CW , X.210). i. History of the Principle of Utility By Mills time, the principle of utility possessed a long history stretching back to the 1730s (with roots going further back to Hobbes, Locke, and even to Epicurus). In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, it had been explicitly invoked by three British intellectual factions. early nineteenth centuries, it had been explicitly invoked by three British intellectual factions....
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course MR 22 taught by Professor Sandel during the Fall '08 term at Harvard.

Page1 / 57

justice shortnotes - Justice Exam Outline Principles of...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online