utilitarism- as rs ethics

Emily Sellis-Pole
Flashcards by Emily Sellis-Pole, updated more than 1 year ago
Emily Sellis-Pole
Created by Emily Sellis-Pole about 7 years ago
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basic points about utilitarism

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Question Answer
What are the 7 basic points of Bentham Hedonic Calculus? Intensity, Duration, Certainty, Extent, Remoteness, Richness, Purity.
Criticisms of Act Utilitarianism 1)It is impossible to measure every act every time 2)It has the potential to justify any act 3)Minority views are not represented 4)Results can be extreme
Benefits of Act Utilitarianism 1) flexability 2) it can take into account individual actions at any given moment
define act and rule utilitarianism act- a person's act is morally right if and only if it produces at least as much happiness as any other act that the person could perform at that time. rule- an action is right as it conforms to a rule that leads to the greatest good, or that "the rightness or wrongness of a particular action is a function of the correctness of the rule of which it is an instance.
what is the hedonic calculus created by Bentham, this is a utilitarian system whereby the effects can be measured as to the amount of pleasure it may bring.
what is the utility principle the rightness and wrongness of an action is determined by its utility or usefulness
what does usefulness refer to refers to the amount of pleasure or happiness caused by the action
what are the pros and cons of act utilitarianism pros- it is flexible being able to take into account individual situations at a given moment cons- it has the potential to justify any act,impractical to suggest that we should measure each moral choice every time
what did John Stuart Mill suggest. The well-being of the individual is of greatest importance, and that happiness is most effectively gained when individuals are free to pursue their own end, subject to rules protecting common good.
what is preference utilitarianism Preference utilitarianism promotes actions that fulfil the interests (preferences) of everyone involved/effected by a situation. Everyone's preferences are equal and nobody is of higher importance than another. this causes problems as there are so many people effected by a situation that maybe the best interests of the main person in the situation might not be properly taken into account ( a mother how has a slow incurable illness that will leave her full disabled wants to end her life sooner than later). The theory was proposed by peter singer as a improvement to mills rule utilitarianism.
what are higher and lower pleasures he distinguished between higher and lower pleasures, higher pleasures are qualitatively better and are more important than lower pleasure. Higher pleasures should be considered better even if we feel unhappy at the time because we have forgone quantity. Pleasures of the mind and better than pleasures of the body. “Better to be a human unsatisfied than a pig satisfied. Better to be Socrates unsatisfied than a fool satisfied”
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