Maximize Utility: Second Issue. Once we’ve defined utility, we need to figure out how
to maximize utility.
commonly shared intuition that some preferences are problematic
Question: we do have limited resources, so whose (informed) preferences count?
How do you structure society in a just way?
Answer: bring about consequences, which satisfy the greatest number of (informed)
preferences amongst people in the society.
For utilitarian’s, everyone’s preferences matter equally.
1 biggest problem: special relationships don’t matter.
Relationships with friends and family, don’t matter, all we care about is maximizing
utility. (Buying parents a anniversary present vs. giving money to starving kids in Africa),
can have special/personal relationships, we just can’t privilege them
Descriptive: how things in fact are, empirical matter of fact (not concerned with
descriptive questions in philosophy)
Normative: how things ought to be
Backward entitlements (paying a kid to shovel driveway, you realize money could be
used better elsewhere to maximi