PHIL 2550 Lecture 1: Consequentialism (John Stuart Mill)

3 Pages
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Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHIL 2550
Professor
Jason Millar

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Consequentialism
Intro to Moral Philosophy
normative theories vs. descriptive theories
moral philosophy is about normative theories
help us reach moral judgments (normative judgments)
normative judgments are motivating judgeets used to ette oe’s life o the old aoud
them
Examples of normative judgments:
You ought to recycle as much of your garbage as is reasonably possible
People ought to obey the law
I should give more to charity
Consequentialism
a normative, action-guiding theory in moral philosophy
i.e. helps you decide what action is best in a given situation
first associated with Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill (Utilitarianism)
Utilitarianism is the classic version of consequentialism
Classi Utilitarianism:
Principle of Utility (John Stuart Mill): actions or behaviours are right in so far as they promote
happiness or pleasure, wrong as they tend to produce unhappiness or pain.
desied as hedoisti at oseuetialis
Act Consequentialism:
A at is oall ight if ad ol if that at aiizes the good, that is, if ad ol if the total
amount of good for all, minus the total amount of bad for all is greater than this net amount for
any incompatible act available to the agent on that oasio.
Hedonism:
• Pleasue is the ol itisi good, ad pai is the ol itisi ad
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Description
Consequentialism Intro to Moral Philosophy normative theories vs. descriptive theories moral philosophy is about normative theories help us reach moral judgments (normative judgments) normative judgments are motivating judgements used to better ones life or the world around them Examples of normative judgments: You ought to recycle as much of your garbage as is reasonably possible People ought to obey the law I should give more to charity Consequentialism a normative, actionguiding theory in moral philosophy i.e. helps you decide what action is best in a given situation first associated with Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill (Utilitarianism) Utilitarianism is the classic version of consequentialism Classic Utilitarianism: Principle of Utility (John Stuart Mill): actions or behaviours are right in so far as they promote happiness or pleasure, wrong as they tend to produce unhappiness or pain. described as hedonistic act consequentialism Act Consequentialism: An act is morally right if and only if that act maximizes the good, that is, if and only if the total amount of good for all, minus the total amount of bad for all is greater than this net amount for any incompatible act available to the agent on that occasion. Hedonism: Pleasure is the only intrinsic good, and pain is the only intrinsic bad
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