Slides in this set
Utilitarianism = A TELEOLOGICAL ethical theory
Teleological ethics - concentrates on consequences
- concerned with purpose, end and goals Telos = Greek
· Teleological ethics judge the morality of an action based on the consequence.
· Whether an action is right or wrong depends on the end result
Deon = Greek
As opposed to...
· DEONTOLOGICAL ethics concentrates on ACTIONS…read more
What are the implications of a teleological
· There can be no moral absolutes i.e. things that are always right or wrong
whatever the circumstances. e.g. `It is always wrong to kill'
· Nothing is intrinsically or inherently right or wrong
· Motives are neither good nor bad, but are morally neutral. If the
consequences are good, then the motivation, even if it is bad, is not important
For a deontologist, lying, stealing, killing etc is always wrong!
In what kind of situation might one of these actions be justified for a
teleological ethicist?…read more
How are consequences judged?
`The greatest good for the
The principle of
The right course of action is that which brings the greatest good for the
greatest number of people
Remember: Everyone's happiness is equal!…read more
Utilitarianism = a HEDONISTIC ethical principle
Hedone = Greek for pleasure
The Hedonists = a group of ancient Greeks who dedicated their life to seeking
true pleasure which has no pain in it.
"Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters,
pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well
as to determine what we shall do.'" (Jeremy Bentham)
Bentham maintained that human beings are
- motivated by pleasure and pain
- pursue pleasure
- seek to avoid pain
21st Century is often described as hedonistic. Why might this be?
Can alcohol and consumerism for example, have painful consequences?…read more
When a moral choice is to be made the right action is one which produces:
`The greatest balance of good (pleasure/happiness) over pain for the greatest number of
Since it focuses on the greatest
number, Bentham's theory is