Presentation on theme: "Revision Notes Utilitarianism. General Long history - Epicurus, Caiaphas, Hume, Adam Smith Characterised by Pojman as teleological aspect and utility."— Presentation transcript:
Revision Notes Utilitarianism
General Long history - Epicurus, Caiaphas, Hume, Adam Smith Characterised by Pojman as teleological aspect and utility aspect e.g. of punishment
Bentham’s Utilitarianism Pleasure and pain 'sovereign masters' Pleasure the only intrinsic good Right actions increase total pleasure
Principles Greatest Happiness Principle or Principle of Utility Teleological/consequentialist
Application Empirical (Hume) and response to rationalists (Descartes) Hedonistic Calculus: Extent, certainty, duration, nearness, fruitfulness, purity, intensity Applies to Individuals and groups
Weaknesses punitive justice, other intrinsic goods, complexity
Philosophical problems Naturalistic fallacy (GEMoore); Jump from egoism to altruism (Mackie) but rational benevolence (Sidgwick) and education (Warnock/Mill)
Act GHP applied to acts “An act is right and only if it results in as much good as any available alternative” From acts general rules deduced Bentham and Mill?
Response But special responsibilities (Brandt)
Rule GHP applied to rules “An act is right if and only if it is required by a rule that is itself a member of a set of rules whose acceptance would lead to greater utility for society than any available alternative” From rules acts deduced as wrong Brandt, Smart, Nielsen Mill and 'tendencies'
Preference Individuals decide what is pain/pleasure for them Preferences unless outweighed by others e.g. Peter Singer and abortion.
General Strengths Simplicity but Mill/Hedonic Calculus Social change and Bentham Purpose of morality (Aristotle/Epicurus/Pojman)
General Weaknesses Incommensurate values (number/happiness) but internal debate Immeasurable consequences but Mill and CILewis (actual/expected/intended consequences) No rest; no personal integrity; not for all as difficult to follow (Pojman) Justice but Mill (punitive/distributive) Intuition and intrinsic/instrumental values and absurd implications (WDRoss) Ends and Means (Kant)
General responses Split level utilitarianism (general/lower: rule, rare but difficult/higher: act)
Overall response Kant and categorical imperative So right on purpose of morality wrong on need for rules and justice Frankena and principles of beneficence and justice Or Ross, objectivism and actual vs.. prima facie duties