Utilitarianism

  • Created by: TheNerdxP
  • Created on: 30-10-17 19:54
Conscience
An inner awareness, faculty, intuition or judgement that assists in distinguishing right from wrong.
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Act Consequentialism
The theory that actions are morally right or wrong depending on their consequences and nothing else. An act is right if it maximises what is good.
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End
What an action seeks to achieve or secure, its aim or purpose.
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Final End
An end that we desire for its own sake, we can't give some further purpose for why we seek it.
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Error Theory
The theory that ethical judgements make claims about objective moral properties, but that no such properties exist. Thus moral judgements are cognitive, but are all false. Ethical language, as we mean to use it, rests on a mistake.
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Ethics
The branch of philosophy concerned with the evaluation of human conduct, including theories about which actions are right or wrong (normative ethics) and the meaning of moral language (metaethics).
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Felicific Calculus
In Bentham's ethics, the means of calculating pleasures and pains caused by an action and adding them up on a single scale. The total amount of happiness produced is the sum total of everyone's pleasures minus the sum total of everyone's pains.
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First Principles
Basic or foundational propositions in an area of knowledge or theory that are not deducible from other propositions.
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Good
In ethics, what is good provides a standard of evaluation and what we should aim at in our actions and lives.
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Hedonism
The claim that pleasure is happiness and the only good.
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Means
What is done to achieve an end. Instrumental means are actions done to achieve some further, independent end, e.g. chopping vegetables in order to eat them. Constitutive means are those which are done as achieving the end, e.g. relaxing on the beach
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Morality
The rules, ideals and expectations governing fundamental aspects of human conduct. It concerns right and wrong, good and bad, in human action and character.
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Motive
A mental state or consideration that inclines someone to act in a certain way. Someone's motive could be a reason for acting, an end, or a desire.
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Higher and Lower Pleasures
One pleasure is higher than another if almost everyone who is 'competently acquainted' with both prefers one over the other. According to Mill, higher pleasures include thought, feeling and imagination, while lower pleasures involve the body and sens
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Primary Quality
Properties that are 'utterly inseparable' from the object, whatever changes it goes through, even if it is divided into smaller and smaller pieces (Locke). The object has these properties 'in and of itself'. Locke lists extension (size), shape, motio
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Secondary Quality
Properties that physical objects have that are 'nothing but powers to produce various sensations in us' (Locke). Locke lists 'colours, sounds, tastes, and so on', later adding smells and temperature.
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Moral Responsibility
Accountability for the actions one performs and the consequences they bring about, for which a moral agent can be justly praised or blamed. Moral responsibility is commonly held to require the agent's freedom to have done otherwise.
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Secondary Principles
In Mill, moral 'rules of thumb' that, if followed, generally produce happiness, e.g. 'tell the truth'. Mill argues that we have learned secondary principles through human history, through trial and error.
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Subjectivism
The theory that moral judgements assert or report approval or disapproval, e.g. 'Murder is wrong' means 'Most people disapprove of murder'.
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Utilitarianism
The theory that only happiness is good, and the right act (or rule) is that act (or rule) that maximises happiness.
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Act Utilitarianism
The theory that only happiness is good, and the right act is that act that maximises happiness. Hedonist act utilitarianism understands happiness in terms of the balance of pleasure over pain.
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Preference Utilitarianism
The theory that we should maximise happiness, which is understood not in terms of pleasure and pain, but in terms of the satisfaction of people's preferences.
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Rule Utilitarianism
The theory that only happiness is good, and the right act is that act that complies with those rules which, if everybody followed them, would lead to the greatest happiness (compared to any other set of rules).
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Utility
The property of an object or action in virtue of which it tends to produce happiness.
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Principle of Utility
The defining principle of act utilitarianism: 'that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever, according to the tendency which it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question
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Value Judgement
A judgement regarding whether something is good or bad in some way.
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Value Theory
Any theory about what is good, e.g. a utilitarian value theory claims that only happiness is good.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The theory that actions are morally right or wrong depending on their consequences and nothing else. An act is right if it maximises what is good.

Back

Act Consequentialism

Card 3

Front

What an action seeks to achieve or secure, its aim or purpose.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

An end that we desire for its own sake, we can't give some further purpose for why we seek it.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The theory that ethical judgements make claims about objective moral properties, but that no such properties exist. Thus moral judgements are cognitive, but are all false. Ethical language, as we mean to use it, rests on a mistake.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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