Utilitarianism

  • Created by: birdy2345
  • Created on: 14-05-18 14:53

Teleological: The word "Telos" comes from the Greek word for "Purpose" or "Goal". Utilitarianism focuses on the consequences of an action, rather than the action itself. It can be compared to Situation Ethics as a consequential theory. 

Jeremy Bentham: Jeremy Bentham proposed the original theory of utilitarianism from a Hedonist's point of view (pleasure orientated). Bentham's utilitarianism was focused around the idea that decisions should be made for "The greatest good of the greatest number".

Bentham said that "The principle of utility aims to promote happiness which is the supreme ethical value. Nature has placed us under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. An act is right if it delivers more pleasure than pain, and wrong if it delivers more pain than pleasure."

His theory consisted of three key principles: 

  • The Principle of Utility - The rightness or wrongness of an action based on its usefulness. 
  • The Motivation of Humans - Humans are motivated by the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. 
  • "The Hedonic Calulus" -

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