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Philosophy 20

The Moral Life - 6th Edition

Chapter 4 Utilitarianism

John Stuart Mill/ Utilitarianism Refined

1)According to Mill, in what ways can the experience of happiness vary? Do you agree?

4)Do you believe that the quantity of happiness is more important than its quality? Why or why not?

Kai Nielsen/ A Defense of Utilitarianism

1)Analyze Nielsen's arguments for utilitarianism. What are their strengths and weaknesses?

4)What is negative responsibility? What are its implications? What are some problems with it?

Bernard Williams/ Against Utilitarianism

1)Why does Williams reject the utilitarian notion of negative responsibility?

2)What is Williams's main objection to consequentialism (his term for utilitarianism)? Examine the cases of George and Jim. What do you think is the right thing to do in each of these cases? What are Williams's answers? Do you agree with his reasoning?

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