Utilitarianism: Key Words

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Utility: Usefulness - utilitarians focus on an action's usefulness in creating happiness.

Principle of Utility: The principle that an action is 'right' if it creates the greatest happiness for the greatest number.

Act Utilitarianism: Bentham's utilitarianism focuses on the act & desirable outcomes rather than rules.

Rule Utilitarianism: Mill's utilitarianism emphasises the kinds of actions which will usually produce good outcomes.

Quantity: Bentham is only concerned with the amount of pleasure produced & all pleasures are good.

Quality: Mill wishes to distinguish between higher & lower pleasures & prefers the former.

Egalitarian: Utilitarianism considers everyone's happiness to be of equal value.

Commensurability: The idea associated with Bentham's approach, that different kinds of pleasure can be compared against each other successfully.

Swine ethic: A criticism of Bentham's approach, implying that it invites people


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