Utilitarianism - teleological ethical theory
(from A grade answer)
Based on the principle of utility - defines the sole intrinsic good as happiness or pleasure and the goal of a moral action as the creation of the greatest happiness for the greatest number - outlined by Jeremy Bentham and J.S Mill
Morality of an action is determined by consequences, not motives. If the consequences are good, bad motives cannot be brought under judgement.
Nina Rosenstand, cited example; a neighbour turns on furnace to warm the house before the friend's return. The furnace explodes and the house is burned down. Motivation is good but as consequences are bad, the neighbour would be expected to be punished according to a classic utilitarian.
Jeremy Bentham's form:
Quantity of happiness was to be measured to calculate what would result in the greater happiness for the greater number.
Hedonic Calculus: consisted of 7 principles which could be given a numerical score; purity, propinquity, remoteness, certainty, duration, fecundity and intensity.
Bentham's form of the principle also considered happinesses to be of equal value , pleasure from flower seller in covent garden's weekly bottle of gin is equal to pleasure from an aristocratic couple attending opera.
Considered Bentham's form as 'a philosophy fit for swine' as it valued quantity of happiness above quality. This made it possible to justify the torture of a single prisoner by a group of…