Act Utilitarianism - The Hedonic Calculus

Jeremy Bentham's hedonic calculus. Devised in order for individuals to quantify the amount of happiness that a proposed action would create by applying the situation to seven different factors, with the proposed action that creates the most happiness being the correct action to take in order to generate the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people, as outlined in Bentham's Principle of Utility which is also known as the Greatest Happiness Principle.

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  • Created by: Hannah
  • Created on: 06-05-12 22:14

The Hedonic Calculus.

1. Intensity - how intense will the pleasure caused be?

2. Duration - how long will the pleasure caused last for?

3. Certainity - how certain are we that the action will cause pleasure/happiness for the majority of people and not pain/suffering?

4. Propinquity - (also known as remoteness) - how far away is it in time and space?

5. Fecundity - will it be followed by sensations of a similar kind? i.e. pleasure.

6. Purity - will it be followed by sensations of an opposite kind? i.e. pain after pleasure.

7. Extent - how many people will be affected?

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You can use PREDICT.


RICHNESS (Fecundity)





TIMESCALE (Propinquity)

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