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- Conseuqentialist ethics holds the view that the correct moral response is realted to the outcome, or consequense of an act.

- main aim to maximise the greatest good for the greatest amount.

- there is always an outcome and the correct moral response is the one that creates the greatest good for the greatest amount.


- can ednorse acts which would be different to the rights individuals if the end result is better for many others.

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- based on the duties and rights and respects individuals as ends in themselves.

- it is our duty to do actions which are right and not ones which are wrong.

- immanuel kant is a famous deontologist.

- it is one's duty to obey the moral law within

- we should judge whether one has done their duty (the right thing) not what the consequences are.


- morals have an absolute value, there not 'out there'.

-morality is insude us, we all have a sense of moral duty

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- you must do it full stop.

- he believed the moral law was absolute.

- they are always to be followed for their own sake, any rational moral person would follow them

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- Urility Principle is the writness or wrongness of an action is determined by its utlity or usefulness

- the idea of the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

- Bentham argued that one should choose to act so we bring about th greatest happiness for the greatest number.

- Bernard Williams criticises Utilitarianism. (indian example)

- with Willams case there is no moral dilemma just the outcome.

- Williams argues that there IS a crucial moral distinction between be kiled by him and being killed by someone else because of the act.

- with utilitarianism we lose this vital distinction, we turn into empty vessels of which consequenses occur. we don't consider our moral status or look at decision-making.

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Jeremy Bentham

- humans are motivated by pleasure and pain and pleasure is our ultimate aim.

- "nature has places us under two soverign masters, pain and pleasure"

- he used the Hedonic Calculus to calculate the morality of an action.


  • Intensity (how intense the pleasure will be)
  • Duration (how long it will last)
  • Propinquity (how near it is)
  • Certainty (how certain that pleasure will result)
  • Fecundity (how much will it lead to pleasures of the same type)
  • Purity (how free from pain is it)
  • Extent (how many will gain pleasure)
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Jeremy Bentham

Problems of the hedonic calculus

  • can pleasure be measured?
  • are different pleasures cammensurable (in the same person, between people?)
  • are all pleasures equal? (Bentham yes, Mill no)
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