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Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 1020E
Charles Jones

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Politics 1020 September 25, 2012 Utilitarianism Utilitarianism - The good and right - Theory about morality in general - The right action is the on that maximizes utility (the good, happiness) - Utility = happiness, well being - The right thing to do is to maximize happiness Jeremy Bentham (1748 – 1832) - Obey the law if and only doing so will produce greater happiness than disobeying Utilitarianism: three parts - Theory of the good (happiness) - Commitment to equal concern o Everyone to count for one, no one to count for more than one - Requirement of maximization Why utilitarianism? - Human happiness o Can’t argue otherwise o Everyone counts equally - Impartial concern o From an impartial perspective we must account for others’ happiness - Consequentialism o Only thing that matters when judging the right action to take is the consequences into considerations o Only thing that matters is a forward looking perspective Is happiness the only thing that matters? - The pleasure machine - Would you plug in? - The experience
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