Utilitarianism (4)

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  • Created by: oyinlola
  • Created on: 08-04-13 18:06

Explain how moral decisions should be made according to:

  • Act Utilitarianism, and
  • Rule Utilitarianism

Act

The pursuit of the greatest happiness of the greatest number by calculating the consequences of the action, using (in Bentham’s case) the hedonic calculus. The process of decision-making, or aspects of the decision-making, should be exemplified. Candidates may explain the way the interests of the individual are taken into account and the consequences for the minority.

Rule

The identification of rule(s) that will promote the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Examples should be given of happiness-making rules with explanations for their use. There may be reference to strong / weak rule utilitarianism, or recognition that writers like Mill allowed that rules could be broken in exceptional circumstances.

Candidates may, but need not, associate Act Utilitarianism with Bentham and Rule Utilitarianism with Mill. The works of Bentham and Mill may be used as evidence of the decision-making processes of

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