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Major Theories.docx

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Elizabeth Page- Gould

UNITS 1 & 2 Normative Claims – Are ones about how things ought to be. This covers Morality as a whole.  Normative Epistemic Claims: Claims made about what one should believe, and how they ought to reason.  Prudential Claims: Things made about your, self interest Descriptive Claims – A claim about what is the case.  Ex) Barack Obama is the President of the United States of America.  It’s seen as more of a fact rather than a debatable case. Can still be refuted. UTILITARIANISM: 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.  Consequentialism: 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 produced minus the total bad produced is no lower than it would be for any other action available.  Hedonism: The goodness of consequences is determined by how much happiness is produced, where “By happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain” Objections to Utilitarianism 1. Doctrine Worthy of Swine: An objection to Utilitarianism’s hedonistic conception of “good” States that if we reduce ourselves to mere physical pleasures of the brain and the body there is nothing more to us, as there is nothing more to pigs. Rebuttal: This assumes that the pleasures are only bodily, but there are higher intellectual pleasures of imagination and creativity. 2. Too high for humanity: It’s a bit too much to expect people will always act for the need to benefit the general interests of society. Rebuttal: According to Mill, whether your act is right or wrong does not depend on motive. 3. No time to calculate: There is no time to calculate prior to acting, whether the act will create the greatest amount of general happiness available to the agent. Rebuttal: Mill states that logically, the Criterion of Right is what’s u
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