Fourth utilitarians wish to maximize happiness not simply immediately but in

Fourth utilitarians wish to maximize happiness not

This preview shows page 6 - 8 out of 9 pages.

morally right in some particular situation.Fourth, utilitarians wish to maximize happiness not simply immediately but in the long run as well.Fifth, utilitarians acknowledge that we often do not know with certainty what the future consequences of our actions will be.Finally, when choosing among possible actions, utilitarianism does not require us to disregard our own pleasure.UTILITARIANISM IN AN ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXTFirst, utilitarianism provides a clear and straightforward basis for formulating and testing policies.By utilitarian standards, an organizational policy, decision, or action is good if it promotes the general welfare more than any other alternative.Second, utilitarianism provides an objective and attractive way of resolving conflicts of self-interest.Third,utilitarianism provides a flexible, result-oriented approach to moral decision making.CRITICAL INQUIRIES OF UTILITARIANISMUtilitarianism instructs us to maximize happiness, but in difficult cases we may be very uncertain about the likely results of the alternative courses of action open to us.Like egoism, utilitarianism focuses on the results of an action, not on the character of the action itself. It is objectionable only when it results in less happiness than could otherwise have been brought about.
Image of page 6
Critics of utilitarianism respond that it is utilitarianism that is morally blind because it not only permits but sometimes even requires us to perform immoral actions.Utilitarianism concerns itself with the sum total of happiness produced, not with how that happiness is distributed.Utilitarianism may even require that some people’s happiness be sacrificed in order to achieve the greatest overall amount of happiness.Under the right of eminent domain, the government may appropriate private property for publicuse (after compensating the owner).Business egoismis the view that it is morally acceptable (or even morally required) for individuals to pursue their economic interests when engaged in business – is defended on utilitarian grounds.KANT’S ETHICSNothing, said Kant, is good in itself except good will. Goodness depends on the will that makes use of intelligence, courage, self-control, health, happiness and other things.Only when we act from a sense of duty does our action have moral worth. Kant’s theory is an important example of a purely nonconsequentialist approach to ethics. Kant held that only when we act from duty does our action have moral worth. Good will is the only thing that is good in itself.THE CATEGORIAL IMPERATIVEKant’s categorical imperativesays that we should always act in such a way that we can will the maxim of our action to be a universal law.By maxim, Kant meant the subjective principle of an action, the principle (or rule) that people in effect formulate in determining their conduct.Hypothetical imperativestell us what we must do on the assumption that we have some particular goal.UNIVERSAL ACCEPTABILITYYou can embrace something as a moral law only if all other rational beings can also embrace it. Itmust have universal acceptability.HUMANITY AS AN END, NEVER AS MERELY A MEANS
Image of page 7
Image of page 8

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 9 pages?

  • Spring '11
  • LBernasconi
  • Ethics, Kant, moral principles, moral decision making

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes