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Chapter 8- Utilitarianism- The Greatest Happiness Principle
Terms in this set (43)
Enhanced Interrogation techniques
morally acceptable torture, on a terrorist suspect to obtain information that might prevent a further terrorist attack.
Utilitarianism view on torture
Will torture result in more beneficial consequences and prevent more harm and suffering in the long run, than using other, less extreme, interrogation techniques
the outcome or consequences of our actions are more important than our intentions. Future looking.
The metaethical theory that actions producing the most pleasure are good and those that promote pain are bad. Oriented toward a particular goal- the greatest net happiness for all. Actions neither intrinsically right nor wrong, determined by its consequences. Ends justify the means.
The feeling of unity with our fellow creatures that is deeply rooted in our character by Chinese utilitarian Mo Tzu
Who said " may be unable to conceive of the possibility of happiness to himself, consistently with conduct opposed to the general good"
John Stuart Mill about the concern for universal happiness is so basic to the human character that a person....
Beings capable of feeling pleasure and pain
Greatest Happiness Principal or Principal of utility
Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.
Rather than simply relying upon our feelings of sympathy, utilitarians recommend that each person
"test his particular feelings by reference to this general principle, and not the general principle by reference to his particular feeling"
Key claims of Utilitarianism
-the desire for happiness is self-evident and universal
-Pleasure brings about happiness;pain brings about unhappiness
-People are naturally sympathetic and concerned with promoting the happiness of others.
-The rightness or wrongness of an action is determined solely by its consequences.
-An action is morally right to the extent that it promotes the happiness or pleasure of all those affected by it.
-And action is morally wrong to the extent that it increases unhappiness or pain
-the moral community consists of all sentient beings.
Name the noncognitive metaethical theory
Name the 2 cognitive theories
Name the 2 metaethical theories
Name the 3 Relativist Theories
Name the 6 Universalist Theories
Natural Law Ethics
concerned with the morality of particular classes of actions, such as torturing or stealing. They aintain that the morality of and action depends on the consequences of following a rule about he class of actions.
concerned only with the consequences of particular actions. No actions are inherently immoral.
Who was Jeremy Bentham moral theory inspired by?
David Hume (1771-1776)
What was Bentham primarily concerned about
social reform. His objective was to devise a practical moral theory that could form a secure, scientific foundation for developing social policy and legislation and for critiquing the existing legal system.
What is another name for Utilitarian Calculus?
Calculus of pleasures or hedonic calculus
Who developed the Utilitarian Calculus?
Jeremy Bentham- English jurist, philosopher and social reformer
What was the name of Jeremy Bentham's book
An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation
What is the Utilitarian calculus?
a means of determining which action, or policy, is morally preferable. Process of weighing costs and benefits need not be carried out before every moral judgment or legislative decision, but it should always be kept in mind.
7 Factors of Utilitarian Calculus
1 Intensity (strength of the pleasure and pain-greater pleasure=positive value, greater pain= negative value)
2 Duration ( length of time the pain and pleasure will last)
3 Certainty ( level of probability that the pleasure or pain will occur)
4 Propinquity ( how near in tie the pleasure or happiness will occur)
5 Fecundity ( extent to which the pleasure will produce more pleasure)
6 Purity (the pleasure does not cause pain at the time)
7 Extent ( the number of sentient beings affected by the action)
What is the major difference between Mill and Bentham's accounts of utilitarianism?
that all pleasures are equal.Bentham=Yes, Mill=No
Mill's belief about pleasure
pleasures of being a human are of a superior quality to the pleasures of being a nonhuman animal because the pleasures of the intellect are superior to the pleasures of the body.
Mills belief about protecting peoples autonomy or liberal rights....
is the best way to maximize happiness in a society
Mills "no harm" principal known as
nonmaleficence-prohibits individuals and gov't from interfering with someone's actions except to prevent harm.
Chinese philosopher Mo Tzu promoted utilitarianism as an alternative to
Confucianism and Taoism
Mo Tzu's philosophy taught
that hate is the primary cause of harm in the world and universal loved is the source of happiness.
Who is included in a utilitarian moral community ?
sentient beings. anything that can experience pain and pleasure.
What is Peter Singers argument about sentient beings?
that by not granting the same consideration to a nonhuman animal that we would to a human with the same cognitive ability is to engage in speciesism.
What is Speciesism?
is a prejudice or bias against certain beings simply because of their membership in a particular group.
What is the Theory of Life according to Utilitarianist John Stuart Mill
that pleasure and freedom from pain are the only things desirable as ends' and that all desirable things are desirable ether for the pleasure inherent in themselves, or as a means to the promotion of pleasure and the prevention of pain.
Definition of Happiness according to Mill
actions are tight in proportion as they tend to promote happiness wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness
What is the Swine Objection?
another way to say that Utilitarianist view of morality is a morality for the pigs, since it extols and wallows in pleasure alone.
Who said "let us eat, drink and make merry today, for tomorrow we will die"?
What are some critisims of the Swine Objection?
false assumption we are only capable of lower pleasures, the quantity of pleasure and pain only matters.
What are two kinds of pleasure according to Mill?
High and Low
What is the Decided Preference Test
a way to test how we know that one pleasure is more preferable to the other
Who determines what pleasure is most pleasurable with the Decided Preference Test?
Those who have experience both pleasures, high/low will always refer higher to lower
be a competent judge
What constitutes a competent judge for the Decided Preference Test?
1 experience both pleasures in the past
2 be currently capable of enjoying both pleasures.
Why do people still abandon higher pleasures for lower ones. 3 reason
1 incapable by nature
2 lack exposure to high
3 infirmity of character-Laziness
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