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PHILOS 2D03 (144)


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Ayesha Khan

Utilitarianism 10212013 44000 PM Jeremy Bentham 17481832Act Utilitarianism What makes an actions rightwrong The ConsequencesAn action is right if it has good consequencesutility and wrong if it has bad consequences There are two question which any AU needs to answer What is utilitythe good Whose utility determines rightnesswrongnessSome examples of utilitydisutility Please and pain Bentham Happiness and unhappiness Mill Preferences and Dispreferences SingerWhose utility determines the rightnesswrongness of an actThe utility to everyone who is affected by the action without anyone being privileged Principle of Utility POU An action is right if and only if there is no other action which I could have performed which a would have produced a greater amount of utility over disutility or b would have produced a smaller about of disutility over utility How do we determine whether an action maximizes utility or minimizes disutility Consider all of the people who will affected by the actionSuppose that I bop you on the head grab your iPad and run Would this action be ethical Who will be affected by this action Youlaptop owner Me Witnesses probably not FriendsFamily no Others noMaximizing Utility Are there any problems with this methodIt is not always practical It can be difficult to know what other people will find goodbad Positive Features of AU It is able to explain why we value moral action Everyone who is capable of feeling falls within the scope of utilitarian ethics It is plausible account It is consistent with much of our actual moral reasoning Maximizing utility by saving 5 people instead of just the one Conceptual Problems with AU You are mountain climbing with your best friend and a stranger You dont know much about the stranger but you know that he is very active in charity workhe volunteers in a soup kitchen and does charity Your friend does not While you are climbing a rope breaks and you have to choose who to save You cant save both and if you do nothing they will both die AU will chose to save the charity manStats will be to chose your friendSpecial Duties Problem The duties associated with some occupations may require us to act against utility FreeRider Problem Suppose that a bus company operates on the honour system For an AU would there be anything wrong with taking a free ride provided that no one else finds outBernard Williams19292003The utilitarian gets the nature of the sacrifice wrong George isnt just sacrificing his happiness he is sacrificing his integritycommitment to longstanding beliefsBecause our commitment to longstanding beliefs is what makes us agents utilitarianism demands that we case being independent agents We become alienated from our own projects and actions Utilitarianism does not demand we go against our convictions It demands that we adopt the utilitarian standard Sometimes doing the right thing demands that we sacrifice our integrity Alter utilitarianism to give more weight to personal commitmentsTutorial 1 PROS AND CONS OF UTILITARIANISMPROS Sounds good one paperCONSTakes away the love no emotional connection
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