Utilitarianism

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  • Utilitarianism
    • Rule
      • Mill
      • Quality over quantity
      • Higher and lower pleasures
        • Higher: pleasure of the mind
          • Reading
        • Lower: pleasure of the body
          • Sports
          • Sex
      • Greatest good for the greatest number of people, as long as we abided by the rules of morality
      • Strong and week rule
        • Weak: may break the rule as a secondary principle
        • Strong: will never break a rule, regardless of the situation
      • Issues
        • Does weak rule collapse into act utilitarianism?
        • Everyone has a different idea about a higher and lower pleasure (e.g. sportsmen may find sports a pleasure of the mind rather than a pleasure of the body
        • Can morality be summed up by rules?
    • Preference
      • Non-hedonistic: maximising 'something'
      • Meeting the preferences of the most amount of people
      • No way to calculate, only consulting those involved
      • Hare
        • Not all preferences bring pleasure
          • Nozik thought machine
      • Singer
        • seeks to maximise the choice of the individual
        • Minimising pain
      • Issues
        • What about bad or crazy preferences?
        • Weighing up preferences can be hard
    • Act
      • Seek pleasure and avoid pain
      • Most amount of happiness for the greatest amount of people
      • Bentham
      • Calculate what will bring the most pleasure using the hedonic calculus
        • Intensity (how strong the pain/pleasure is
        • Duration: how ling the pain/pleasure will last
        • Certainty: what is the likelihood of the pain/pleasure
        • Remoteness: how closely the pain/pleasure effects you
        • Richness: the depth of the pain/pleasure
        • Purity: how pure the action is that will produce the pleasure
        • Extent: how far does the pain/pleasure go
        • Issues
          • Impossible to compare pleasures
          • Ignores morality
          • Quantity over quality
          • Everyone has a different idea about pleasure
      • Teleological argument (focused on the consequences not the action)
      • Psychological hedonism: an individuals potential pleasure and avoidance of pain are the aims of an individuals actions
      • Strengths
        • Considers the consequences of an action
        • Suggests a way of calculating what will bring the most happiness
      • Issues
        • Ignores morality
        • Can justify immoral acts
      • Hedonistic: maximising happiness
        • Rule
          • Mill
          • Quality over quantity
          • Higher and lower pleasures
            • Higher: pleasure of the mind
              • Reading
            • Lower: pleasure of the body
              • Sports
              • Sex
          • Greatest good for the greatest number of people, as long as we abided by the rules of morality
          • Strong and week rule
            • Weak: may break the rule as a secondary principle
            • Strong: will never break a rule, regardless of the situation
          • Issues
            • Does weak rule collapse into act utilitarianism?
            • Everyone has a different idea about a higher and lower pleasure (e.g. sportsmen may find sports a pleasure of the mind rather than a pleasure of the body
            • Can morality be summed up by rules?
    • Hedonistic: maximising happiness

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