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Lecture 81

PHIL 1200 Lecture 81: Lecture 81

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PHIL 1200
David R.Hampton

o982 1) There is no way to measure utility. The claim that we should all aim for maximum general happiness is vague The anti-utilitarian argument: The maximum pleasure principle degrades people. Pleasure is subjective, so it might turn out that people find pleasure in immoral things Moreover, it seems impossible to calculate the long-term effects of my actions. The utilitarian response: Distinction between quality and quantity of pleasure. Reference to general standards of what is considered pleasant often goes together with what is considered moral. There is no problem with subjectivity as long as there are general standards (transmitted through education, habit, etc.) As far as the practical impossibility of knowing the long-term consequences of one’s actions goes: For the most part, the good or bad consequences of an action are obvious. Maybe it is true that one cannot always know how an action will turn out. But one is judged according to what one knows at the time.
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