SOC SCI H1E Lecture 2: Utilitarianism (04/06/17)

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University of California - Irvine
Social Science
Weatheralland O' Connor

LECTURE 2 Thursday, April 6, 2017 THE GOOD LIFE 1.2 Utilitarianism The Auto Icon of Jeremy Bentham Before dying, Bentham made an elaborate plan to be publicly dissected, and for his preserved body (which is called his autoicon) to be displayed o What they did was take his bones, stuff wool around them, and dress them o Then his friend mummified his head, but it turned out really gruesome looking, so they made a fake wax head for him with some of his real hair After his death, University College London acquired the auto icon and still displays it to this day o Periodically, they take it to meetings of the college council and list it on the attendance Jeremey Bentham (17471832) Philosopher, most famous for this work on utilitarianism Reformer o Rights for women, slaves, animals Animal rights: The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? o Acceptance of homosexuality o Opposed physical punishment, especially for children Separation of church and state Freedom of expression Goal of IPML What is Benthams main goal? He wants an objective grounds for moral and legislative judgments o Some kind of objective principle, freestanding for humans, something thats just standing on its own out there, so that when we make a moral or legislative judgment, we have an objective ground that we can appeal to in order to tell whether it is a good or bad judgment We can look at this objective thing that will tell us the truth An unchanging, external standard for such judgments that can settle ethical arguments o We can just know whats right or wrong, good or bad Principle of Utility What is this objective grounds?
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