ELeanor Turner
Mind Map by ELeanor Turner, updated more than 1 year ago
 ELeanor Turner
Created by ELeanor Turner almost 4 years ago


Mind map on the Utilitarianism system of Ethics based on Jeremy Bentham and J.S Mill and its extensions. AS level Philosophy and Ethics

Resource summary

1 An action is good if the consequences are favourable
1.1 What is right and wrong will depend on the circumastances
1.1.1 Relativist
1.1.2 An act is right if it produces more pleasure than pain Principle of utility Each is to count for one Egalitarian Bentham Quantitive Concerns himself with the number of people satisfied Hedonic Calculus Way of measuring pain and pleasure Animals count too as they can feel pain and pleasure Seven elements Intensity Is it intense or only mildly pleasurable? Duration How long will the happiness last? Certainty Is it possible it might not happen? Remoteness/Propinquity How close is it to me? Fecundity Might it breed more happiness? Purity Is it tainted with other considerations? Extent Will it affect others close to me? Associated with act utilitarianism Principle of utility is applied to each individual case
2 Mill
2.1 Extension of the ideas of Bentham
2.1.1 Concerned about tyranny of the majority Bentham regarded pushpin 'as good as poetry' Majority overpowers the minority Could justify throwing christians to the lions Better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied Better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied Argued for individual happiness Animals are not significant to Mill as humans clearly enjoy higher pleasures Criticised as it is difficult to know what is a higher or base pleasure Someone who has experience and knowledge of both should define the higher and lower pleasures As they can define the pain/pleasure the action causes Competent Judge Mill argues for sovereignty (autonomy) and dignity The Harm Principle Individuals can make their own choices if it is not harming anyone else but themselves E.g. individual should be allowed to smoke in private, it is up to him Actions of individuals should only be limited to prevent the harm of other individuals Mill would agree with voluntary euthanasia
2.2 Qualitative
2.2.1 Concerns himself with the quality of the happiness rather than the quantity Roger Crisp Haydn and the immortal oyster If measuring quantity of happiness The immortal oyster would score higher as he lives for longer If measuring quality of happiness Haydn would score higher as he has a higher quality of happiness even though he only lives for 70 years Example of speed restriction on Lake Windermere Water sport is a base pleasure Enjoyment of nature and tranquility is a higher pleasure Therefore they are more significant when making the decision
2.3 More deontological
2.3.1 Rules help us do what is right Rights should be protected by the law Referred to as a rule utilitarian However, in order to save a life Mill does argue it may be necessary to kidnap a doctor Therefore making him a soft rule utilitarian
3 Preference Utilitarianism
3.1 Doesn't concern itself with calculating happiness
3.2 Concerns itself with best interests of people and animals
3.2.1 Animals must count equally They feel pleasure and pain Animals are more sentient than an embryo Considering humans to be more significant is speciesist
3.2.2 Trade offs Compromise our own self interests to relieve the suffering of the majority Peter Singer's example of the Battery farmed chickens Consumers should be willing to be a little more to relieve the suffering of the chickens Example of the dam built in wilderness Dam provides jobs and clean energy But habitats will be destroyed If there was a trade off the dam would not be built Important to preserve wildness for the future generations Peter Singer Make decisions about the welfare of other beings, then we will have a good life Toddler in the pond If child was drowning in a pond We would sacrifice our expensive shoes to jump in and save them Surely instead we could not buy the expensive shoes And instead donate that cost to charity Argues for infanticide Sanctity of life is outdated and causes more suffering We would put an animal out of their suffering so why not a human life? Considers abortion as swapping one life for another His vegetarianism
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