Utilitarianism Rule Mill

  • Created by: _bella_
  • Created on: 25-01-19 10:31
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  • J. S Mill's Utilitarianism
    • Rule as a solution to Act?
      • Problems with Calculation- is it possible to work out the result of an action for human happiness
      • No type of action is ruled out, in principle, as immoral
        • People have rights (which are rules) as people have to follow these rules, it surely leads to the greatest happiness.
      • Act argues that in our decisions, we must consider the greatest happiness our actions could create, thus we should spend less time with the people we love and more time helping people who need it (too idealistic)
        • A rule that allows partiality to our loved ones creates more happiness than a rule requiring us to be impartial all the time. This secures the moral importance relationships, as they are key to happiness
    • "It is better to be a human being dissatisfied, than a pig satisfied."
    • Qualitative approach
    • The right or wrongness of an action is judged by the goodness/ badness of the result of a rule that everyone should perform the action in similar circumstances.  
    • A legitimate moral rule is one that, if recognised as morally binding by everyone in society, would maximise happiness and minimise unhappiness
    • These rules can be used to evaluate individual actions, once determined
    • Developed Act Util. by the introduction of ‘harm principle'
    • Strong and Weak Utilitarianism
      • Weak Rule accepts the need to be flexible over the implementation of the rule of utility. The rule would still be taken into account
      • Strong Rule says utilitarian principles should establish rules that should then never be broken, this may then become an absolutist theory.  
    • Pleasure of the mind are higher than those of the body. To pursue purely bodily pleasures, e.g. food and sex, was not 
    • Division of Pleasures
      • Higher-  Poetry and music
      • Lower- Food and Sex
    • Criticisms
      • Need to focus on long term results
      • Can all decisions be summed up rules of morality?
      • Life is too complicated to apply rules to every situation


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