Utilitarianism

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Who is Jeremy Bentham and what did he focus on?
He focused on the outcome of an action, he is hedonist (a group of people dedicating their for to the search for pleasure).
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Describe the Principle of Utility.
When deciding on the right course of action, we must work out what is the most useful thing to do in the situation? We are weighing up the path that leads to the greatest pleasure. This is the principle of utility.
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Describe hedonic calculus.
By using this we can measure pleasure, there are 7 parts: 1- intensity of pleasure 2- duration of pleasure 3- certainty of pleasure 4- proximity of pleasure to you 5- how continuous is the pleasure 6- pain mixed with pleasure 7- how widespread is it?
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Give four positives of Benthams Utilitarianism.
1) Clear way to decide on best course of action. 2) Realistic, as people tend to seek pleasure and avoid pain. 3) It focuses on consequences. 4) Common sense, so all can use it.
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List five negatives of Benthams Utilitarianism.
1) different types of pleasure? 2) pleasure for some may be pain for others. 3) HC hard to apply when quick response 4) cant always predict consequences accurately. 5) focuses on greatest number so ignores minorities. 6) personal pleasure?
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Describe John Stuart Mills rejection of the Hedonic Calculus.
It measures quantity and makes them the same. He believes some pleasures are higher quality than others, because they engage in part of the brain, which distinguishes humans from animals. Higher pleasures satisfy mind, lower pleasures satisfy body.
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Describe Mills opinion on the Principle of Utility.
He agreed with it, but Bentham said it could not be proved, Mill proved it. He said 1) Happiness is desirable state of affairs. 2) Happiness is only desirable thing, others lead to happiness. 3) Happiness to all is desirable because yours increases.
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Describe Rule Utilitarianism.
general rule - specific case. Mill Tried to make UT practical for creating rules in a society,test good isas needed to operate. Concentrated on how decisions are reached, greatest good given to greatest number. individual pleasure sacrificed?
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Describe Act Utilitarianism.
specific case - general rule. Benthams UT judged situations individually, away from community. Action must bring about the greatest good. Merits and circumstances are considered, so flexible but time consuming.
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Describe Strong and Weak Utilitarianism.
Benthams Utilitarianism is strong as it is straightforward, with one rule, the principle of utility, and it must be adhered to. Mills weak utilitarianism is more flexible, where principle can be broken if consequences of an action were harmful.
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Describe Preference Utilitarianism.
R.M Hare and Peter Singer focused minorities. Action is right or wrong by asking whether is fits with what people would rationally prefer. Individual preference must be considered, right thing to do is in the best interests of the greatest number.
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Main problem with preference utilitarianism.
Focuses on maximising pleasure not minimising suffering.
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Four positives of utilitarianism.
1) Simple, common sense as people can apply in nowadays. 2) Fair, suits democratic society. 3) Considering consequences comes naturally to people. 4) Universal rule, applicable whatever culture, religion, etc.
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Four negatives of utilitarianism.
1) Must know what gives others happiness or best interests, positive? 2) what if someone wants to act ignoring consequences. 3) must accurately predict consequence. 4) what if wrong motives lead to right outcome?
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Card 2

Front

Describe the Principle of Utility.

Back

When deciding on the right course of action, we must work out what is the most useful thing to do in the situation? We are weighing up the path that leads to the greatest pleasure. This is the principle of utility.

Card 3

Front

Describe hedonic calculus.

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Give four positives of Benthams Utilitarianism.

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

List five negatives of Benthams Utilitarianism.

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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