Act Utilitarianism- Jeremy Benthem

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Act Utilitarianism- Jeremy Benthem

Act Utilitarianism- Jeremy Benthem-" The greatest happiness for the greatest number" 

- A theroy which established whether something was good/bad according to its benefits for the majority of people- Principle of utility- Usefulness of the results of the action

  • Benthem's theory- PSYCHOLOGICAL HEDONISM- Pleasure-seeking
  • Teleological ethical theory
  • Consequentalist- Actions judged according to the consequence
  • The greatest happiness principle
  • Benthem believed that law should serve human needs
  • Believed there was one moral good, PLEASURE and one evil, PAIN- "Nature has placed mankind under two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure"
  • We should recieve the maximum pleasure
  • Theory is quantative- Considers a pleasure as quantable entity
  • Universal hedonism- The highest good is the greatest happiness for the greatest number
  • Pain Vs pleasure: "The principle of utility aims to promote happiness which is the supreme ethical value... An act is right if it delivers more pleasure than pain and wrong if it brings about more pain than pleasure"- Benthem
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Act Utilitarianism- Jeremy Benthem

- By calculating the amount of pleasure and pain for each possible act we will be able to determine good and bad acts

  • Hedonic calculus: A way of measuring pain and pleasure- The consequences of an act can be assesed as a a  score of units of happiness called Hedons: Measuring pleasure has 7 elements ( PRRICED) "Everyone is to count as one and no one as more than one"- Benthem

- Purity

- Richness (Equality)

-Remotness (How near is pleasure/pain)

-Intensity (How strong the pleasure is)

- Certainty (Of it occuring)

-Extent (How many people it affects)


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