Bentham's Utilitarianism

  • Created by: _bella_
  • Created on: 25-01-19 09:50
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  • Bentham's Utilitarianism
    • Hedonic Calculus
      • Based around pleasure
      • If an action produces only happiness it is good. If it produces only unhappiness, it is bad
      • If the action produces both happiness and unhappiness then it needs to be evaluated on pleasure-pain factors. 
    • Naturally we are ruled by pleasure and pain.
    • Need to consider each act individually.
    • If a law or action doesn't do good, it isn't a good action
    • "Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure."
    • Strengths
      • Reasonable to link morality with pursuit of happiness and avoidance of pain and misery
      • It is subjective + relative, so it is flexible and is applicable to the greatest number of people
      • Its principles are useful in reality  as we live according to the needs and wants of our society. shown through Democracy
      • Encourages you to take an attitude of moral responsibility of what you do and how the consequences affects those around you
      • Applies to the principles of democracy, in which we are all considered equal.
    • Criticisms
      • Holds the view that consequences of one's actions are the ultimate basis for any judgement about the rightness or wrongness of that action.
      • Holds the view that moral judgement is based around the ideas of a period
      • Assumes what is useful is moral
      • Allows for brutal and socially unacceptable  acts to be classed as ‘good’ through being performed by the majority
      • Williams -’Supererogation Argument’. This theory demands a lot from us Ethical theories are to help us live better, Utilitarianism would tell us to donate all our money to charity because you would further the Principle of utility. We shouldn't give up our belongings to be ethical
      • McIntyre- the idea of pleasure is dangerous because people can be manipulated into being satisfied by anything


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