Utilitarianism

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Who first developed Utilitarinaism?
Jeremy Bentham
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What made Bentham create this theory?
The awful working/living conditions for the WC following the 18th Century industrial revolution - he wanted to reform this to remove the social inequalities of the time
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What is Bentham's theory of Utilitarianism called?
Act Utilitarianism
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What sort of theory is Utilitarianism?
A consequentialist, relativistic and teleological theory
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What is the 'principle of utility'?
What was most useful to society: The greatest happiness for the greatest number
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What was the 'principle of utility' based on?
The motivation of man: Bentham's belief that all humans seek pleasure and want to avoid pain
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What is the method of application for this theory called?
The Hedonic Calculus
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Where does the name 'Hedonic Calculus' come from?
'Hedone', the Greek work for 'pleasure'
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How many criteria does the Calculus consist of and how do they help with moral decision making?
7 criteria which must all be considered in order to decided whether or not a decision is moral
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What are the 7 criteria?
(DR. RIPCU) Duration, richness, remoteness, intensity, purity, certainty/uncertainty
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For Utilitarians, what makes a decision/action moral?
A decision/action that produces the greatest happiness for the greatest number
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As well as considering all 7 factors of the HC, what else must happen when making moral decisions?
All people must be treated equally
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Give a quote from Bentham which supports his view that all should be treated equally
'Each person is to count for one and no one for more than one.'
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How is happiness measured for Bentham?
Quantitatively
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Bentham's views were considered progressive for the time in which Utilitarianism was developed. True or false.
True - his views were progressive for the time of writing (18th Century)
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Who developed Bentham's work?
John Stuart Mill
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What was Mill's version of the theory called?
Rule Utilitarianism
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What is a key feature of Rule Utilitarianism that doesn't feature in Bentham's version of the theory?
Higher and Lower pleasures
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What claim are the Higher and Lower pleasures based on?
Mill's claim that human beings value other things other than happiness - e.g. love, justice, education
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How are pleasures/happiness measured for Mill?
Qualitatively (*opposite to Bentham*)
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What are Mill's Higher pleasures?
Pleasures of an intellectual nature - e.g. Going to the opera
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What are Mill's Lower pleasures?
Pleasures of a bodily (carnal) nature
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What did Mill believe about these pleasures? (Humans would always pursue...)
Humans would always pursue the HPs if their basic physical needs are met first
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What are Mill's 'competent judges'?
People who are 'competently acquainted' with both pleasure types
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What are 'competent judges' able to do?
They have the ability to competently judge a moral action from an immoral action and would always pick the HPs over the LPs
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What do Mill's 'competent judges' remove the need for?
Bentham's Hedonic Calculus
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What is W.D Ross' view of the Calculus?
'It is too difficult to apply because the 'principle of utility' is too simplistic and life's dilemmas are to complicated to rely on a single equation.'
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According to Mill, what had humans already worked out using trial and error? And what did these become?
Which actions are moral and immoral - these become moral laws/secondary principles
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What, did Mill argue, was the 'primary principle'?
The Principle of Utility
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Why did Mill argue we should be guided by rules?
Because (generally speaking) they promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number
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What is strong Rule Utilitarianism?
The idea that rules with instrumental worth should be kept
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What is weak Rule Utilitarianism?
The idea that, although some rules are useful, they can be discarded under some circumstances
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Card 2

Front

What made Bentham create this theory?

Back

The awful working/living conditions for the WC following the 18th Century industrial revolution - he wanted to reform this to remove the social inequalities of the time

Card 3

Front

What is Bentham's theory of Utilitarianism called?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What sort of theory is Utilitarianism?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is the 'principle of utility'?

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