Utilitarianism (3)

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  • Created by: oyinlola
  • Created on: 08-04-13 17:56

Examine the general principles of utilitarianism with reference to any ethical issue(s) of your choice. (Do not choose abortion or euthanasia.)

The trigger word ‘Examine’ requires both knowledge and understanding, with some unpacking of concepts and explanation with reasons, examples or illustrations. The phrase ‘general principles’ is broad, and is exemplified in the specification with reference to: ‘consequential or teleological thinking in contrast to deontological thinking’. Maximum marks could be earned by answers that dealt with these aspects only. A broader approach is also possible.

Happiness the only good – the two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. Consequential / Teleological – idea that ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ depend solely on the consequences of the action, not on the purpose or motive, or on the instrinsic goodness or badness of the action. There may be explicit or implicit contrast with deontological ethics.

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