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Arts and Humanities
Philosophy 241 Final
Terms in this set (54)
the position that we ought to pursue pleasure or happiness above all else
OTHERWISE KNOWN AS UTILITARIANISM
Who is a hedonist?
Core principle of utilitarians
greatest happiness principle
Greatest Happiness Principle
the morally correct action is the one that out of all possible actions maximizes happiness
Mills definition of happiness
pleasure and the absence of pain
the right action is defined by the consequences of the action
the right action brings about the right consequences
Mills version of consequentialism
we ought to maximize happiness which means to bring happiness to the greatest number of people
Why does mill think we should max happiness?
because happiness is the only thing that is valuable in and of itself
The swine doctrine
we are only here to fulfill our basic pleasures if we are to be utilitarians
Mills reponse to the swine doctrine
Humans pursue higher order pleasures
When can one be satisfied according to Mill?
when their lower order pleasures have been fulfilled, but one can not be truly happy unless they get their higher order pleasures
Weakness of will
at times we may pursue lower order pleasures at the expense of higher order pleasures but this doesnt mean that we hold them as more valuable, its just a moment of weakness
When would utilitarianism allow slavery?
When slavery produced more overall happiness for all involved
Juba and Camaica example
On juba everyone including the slavery have a high quality life and the slaves benefited from being slaves
How would slavery be acceptable in Juba?
if the government had abolished slavery and the happiness would decrease
When does Hare think it acceptable to have slaves?
if you cant question the thought experiment
Hares arguement against the Juba and Camaica case
There would never be a case like this in the real world
Utilitarianism is bound by facts about the real world
Why does Nozick think we wouldnt enter the experience machine?
1. We want to do certain things and not just have the experience of doing them
2. We want to be a certain way. be a certain sort of person
3. We want to have unlimited, surprising experiences
How are relativism and tolerance linked?
Relativism is the position that moral truth is relative to a particular culture or community and moral codes are created by communities
What does Rachels say about tolerance in relation to relativism
he says that they are linked but its not a good thing
What does Graham think about tolerance and relativism
he thinks that tolerance is a virtue and that we ought to be tolerant of cultures different from our own
arguments that are valid
not as strong and are not valid
Deductive argument given for the connection of relativism and tolerance
1. there are two or more a purality of equally true or valid moral codes
2. therefore, tolerance of moral practices or moral codes other than ones own is morally required
The epistemic arguement
determining the consequences of an action before they happen are impossible. It is impossible to know the future
Identity affecting actions
are those which affect the identities of future persons
actions that usually carry moral weight
The cancelling out response
while it is true that there is a small chance of something really bad happening from a seemingly good action there is also the same chance that something good comes from the same action so they cancel out each other
all actions are judged on the basis of their consequences
utilitarianism is not a rational ethical principle
People thinking an action would bring about the most happiness would lead to people making the wrong choices
Society will stop if everyone believed in utilitarianism
Why should you keep your promises according to utilitarianism?
You are setting up an expectation with a promise and if it is broken it creates unhappiness
Singers reponse to hodges
society will form an expectation of keeping promises if your a utilitarian
Hodge's response to singers response
says that its anti- act utiltarianism because actions would be justified not because they would actually max happiness but would only max happiness if its a general rule
the right action is the one that out of all the possible actions produces the most good for the most number of people
Expected value of an action
the amount of happiness an action will bring
Objections to Shaw
what if the expected best action produces poor results?
We have no way of predicting the future
The paradox of hedonism
if ones ultimate end in life is the pursuit of max happiness then one may be prevented from having certain experiences or relationships or commitments that are among lifes greatest sources of happiness
one should adopt a hedonistic point of view
the right action is the one that maximizes happiness even if it requires not adopting the hedonistic point of view
one who is committed to objective hedonism, aims to live the happiest life available, but is not committed to objective hedonism
problem with sophisticated hedonism
how can he act in ways that are consistent with objective hedonism and yet not engage in hedonistic deliberation?
What does railton reject?
utilitarianism's commitment to happiness alone
A plurality of values
we ought to take a pluralistic approach to our values and see more than happiness as intrinsically valuable
Railtons alienation theory
consequential ism tends to alienate people from the things that make them happy in life
What is railtons problem with consequentialism?
It doesnt take personal feelings into account, just moral duties
If we did have a plurality of values, would this reduce alienation?
Common objection to virtue theory
its too vague
Other objections to virtue theory
1. too parochial in the sense that we tend to understand the virtues through a particular social or familial lenses
2. virtue theory cant tell us what ot do in cases of ethical disagreement
Ethical decision making procedureq
a systematic and theorizable way of telling us what to do
Would experience be meaningless if we adopted the computer manual approach?
What are the problems with the computer manual approach?
One could give good moral advice while having poor moral character
cannot properly account for what happens when we make a moral mistake
Annas decision making procedure
its better to focus on what makes for a good person instead of the right action
you only focus on the right action if its what a virtuous person would do
Objections to Annas theory
how are we to identify the virtuous person?
there are no virtuous people to provide examples of virtuousness
three fold approach looks at the virtuous person, the right action and the developmental process through which we become virtuous
How does the developmental approach avoid the computer manuals mistakes?
because one does not unthinkingly follow the actions of ones role model
This set is often in folders with...
James Rachels (The Ethics of Virtue)
Utilitarianism: Objections & Reponses
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