Utilitarianism- how useful something is

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  • Created by: Sfranp I
  • Created on: 04-03-16 12:36
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  • Utilitarianism- how useful something is
    • Principle of utility- a measure of the usefulness of an ethical action
    • Utilitarianism is teleological which means that a morality of an action is judged on its outcome. NOT what people did to get that outcome.
      • Utilitarianism is 'relativist' meaning that what is right depends on the situation. Good and bad can differ.
      • Disadvantages of having a teleological theory
        • No consideration of attitude or good intentions of a moral agent.
        • Hard to predict the outcome of actions, therefore can be unreliable.
      • Advantages of a teleological ethical theory
        • Right to focus on outcomes and consequences as they have effects on others.
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    • Jeremy Bentham
      • Developed 'Classical/ Act Utilitarianism'
        • Promotes actions that produce a greater amount of pleasure over pain.
      • First philosopher to apply the principle of utility to happiness.
      • Believed that moral agents should bring about the most amount of happiness for the greatest amount of people as possible.
      • Believed that avoiding pain and seeking pleasure were the two main aims of all individuals.
        • Hedonistic Calculus
          • Belief that the pursuit of happiness is morally right.
          • A tool developed by Bentham to measure the amount of happiness an action will produce.
          • 7 different measure of happiness.
            • Intensity- how intense or weak
            • Duration
            • Certainty- how likely
            • Purity- how free from pain
            • Extent
            • Remoteness- how close in time
    • Context
      • The Enlightenment
        • Cultural and intellectual movement
        • Late 17th and 18th century
        • Key thinkers
          • John Locke and David Hume
            • Empiricists- we know what we experience
            • Influenced Bentham
      • Industrial Revolution
        • England 1760-1840
        • People moved from countryside to cities
        • Many jobs in factories and industries were created
        • Great economic development
          • Caused social problems.
            • People lived in crowded, dirty conditions and worked long hours in dangerous factories.
            • Prisoners were treated badly
            • Alcoholism & Prostitution.


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