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Lecture 3

PHLA11 Week 2 Lecture 3 Notes.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Julia Nefsky

PHLA11 WEEK 2 LECTURE 3 1 Unit 1: Moral Theories -moral theories: attempt to explain, at the most fundamental and general level, what differentiates right actions from wrong actions -obligatory acts are acts that you have an obligation to perform, that are morally required and you morally ought to perform -permissible acts are morally acceptable, allowed and permitted -impermissible or wrong are acts that you are not morally acceptable -obligatory acts are a kind of permissible action, it is more than permission you have to do it and you are wrong if you do not do it, it is required Utilitarianism -Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill and Henry Sidgwick -the Greatest Happiness Principle: an act is right if and only if it brings about the greatest total amount of happiness—or utility—out of all the actions available to the agent -happiness is “intended pleasure, and the absence of pain” -two parts: 1) consequentialism, 2) hedonism Consequentialism - the rightness or wrongness of an act depends on its consequences, on what it produces and doesn’t depend on the act itself -an act is right if and only if it produces the best consequences out of all the acts available to the agent -if and only if the total good produces minus the total bad produced is no lower than it would be for any other action available” -have to look at the consequences of everyone involved, not just an individual Hedonism -a theory of the good, how to think about the goodness of consequences and to weigh them against them -the goodness is determined by how much happiness is produced where “by happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain;” “pleasure, and the freedom from pain, are the only things desirable as end” Utilitarianism -the right is one that brings about the best consequences where consequences count as best when they produce the greatest total amount of happiness or utility -two important features: 1) universality and impartiality -universality: everyone’s happiness matters,
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