Why Should We Do Things?
• "I should work out."
1 Feel Better
3 Sex Appeal
1 Pleasurable Activities
• "Mr. Scrooge should give Tiny Tim the money for the operation."
1 Tiny Tim walk?
1 Makes Tiny Tim and family happy
Utilitarianism You should do X iff X maximizes utility
• Whose? Everyone's
• When? Over all time.
Hedonic Utilitarianism Utility= happiness (or pleasure and the absence of pain)
Two Weak Objections
• Objection 1: The Philosophy of the Swine
1 a. Irresponsibility
1 Will it make you or the world happier to stop going to class or to work?
1 Maybe in the short run
2 Doesn't make other people happier
2 Not right doesn't direct other people's behavior responsibly
2 b. Degrading
1 "Animal pleasures" (eating, drinking, etc)
2 "Higher pleasures" (art, literature, etc)
3 Not a very compelling objection doesn't go around telling other people
to act degradingly
• Objection 2: "It's Useless"
1 Little old lady crossing the road see truck barreling down
1 Should you save the lady?
1 Probably doesn't have any family
2 Leave money for charity
3 Might make a lot of poor hungry children happy
4 Maybe you should let the truck hit her
2 Maybe you save her
1 You get money for charity
2 Make the best difference
2 We don't know what will maximize utility 3 Reply 1: Right vs Praiseworthy
4 Reply 2: Expected Utility
1 Expected utility the utility you expect the act to bring about on average