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follow the rule that increases/maximizes utility
perform the act that increases/maximizes utility
all goods are of one kind
-can be put into terms of one another)
some goods are different in kind
-you can put them into terms with one another
-blt and freedom,
uphold principle of utility
-good is proportionate to utility
what are utilitarians
- -- objectivists
- -- absolutist
- -- consequentialist
- - good is a matter of fact
the father of utilitarianism
good is proportionate to utility
- (pleasure/happiness) benefit
- good is scaling admits to degrees, (more/less)
- prinicple of utility
consequentialist are commited to
consequences. any action with consequences is a moral decision. (what you decide to act on or don't act on you are responsible for those consequences)
Benthams 7 ways utility can be affected
- 1. intensity
- 2. duration
- 3. likilhood
- 4. fecundity
- 5. purity
- 6. remoteness
- 7. extent
what is intensity
the different degrees of pleasure/displeasure
what is duration
how long the pleasure/displeasure last
what is likelihood
- the prbability calculus
- (this could happen but what is the probability of it happening?)
what is fucundity
- -how likely is one thing going to promote another to happen?
what is purity
a mix of pleasure and pain
what is remoteness, and its problems?
- how "real" something is
- - a murder occuring in own town, compared to a murder in another country
- this is a problem for everyone but bentham. this should not matter
what is extent.
how many people are effected
imaginary measurement of utility
what descriptors is bentham
- - absolutist
- - objectivist
- - consequentialist
- - act utilitarian
- hedonist utilitarian
what does benthams principle of utility agrue
- - that utility is the basis of morality
- - morality essentially involves actions
- -actions are driven by pleasure/pain
- therefore : morality essentially involves considerations of pain and pleasure
why is Benthams method of utils like science?
- - morality is observable/measurable
- -we act based on the best info we have
- - the more info, the better the decision
- -Fallibilist ( make mistakes, but without making mistakes) in other words we tried, did the right procedure but got the wrong answer
what is Mills agruement against a priori ethics
-rejects morality as Relation of Ideas. agrees with Hume on this. they must either assert their intuitions as a priori or support them with counter-intuitive dedcution
what is Mills agruement against Kant
he says Kant never got away from consequences
who said : Morality is about action. action is driven by pain/pleasure. therefore morality is linked to pain/pleasure
who says " pleasure is good, is a first principle and first principles dont admit of proof"
what is the role of first principles ?
first principles, like why x=x or why happiness is good, have no other explanation other than because thats the what it is.
what is Mills agruement on Rule Utilitarian
- - the many (history) is a better judge than you here now
- - we should not be making decisions at the point of action. b/c you become bias on the piont of action
- - in "the study" we make better decisions b/c we are not bias, with a clear head and make better decisions through more knowledge
what is mills agruement on Ideal Utilitarian
- follow the rule that increases/maximizes utility without sacrificing a higher good.
- - Unanimity
- - Bartering
what is unanimity
- if every competent person who has experienced goods a & b, prefer a to b than a is the higher good
- (higher good, is higher in kind) ex: justice freedom
what is bartering
of 2 goods x & y, if a competent person would not trade away x for any amount of y, x is the higer good
what is mills view of competent persons
we should set aside those that suffer from an infirmity of character
what is infirmity of character
- - the person(s) mis-value an item due to emotion (emotional attachment, which is a form of bias)
- - mis-value due to nearnes/remoteness (person who is saving up for house, goes shopping and buys sweater, bc they can have sweater now)
what are the steps for Mills R.I.U to make a decision
- 1. identify the rule of action. (when I x, then I will y)
- 2. consider whether the rule increases/maximizes utility (this is the research portion)
- 3. consider wheter the rule sacrifices a higher good.
what are williams premises for being against utilitarians?
- 1. negative responsibility
- 2. extreme impartiality
- 3. loss of intergrity
what is negative responsibility, and which U. is it against?
- I am responsible for things I choose to do as well as things I choose not to do.
- -aganist all utilitarians b/c : they are logically comitted to this. implies by absolutist consequentialist. consequences are the only thing that makes something good.
what is extreme impartiality and which U is it against?
- my happiness is exactly as important as everyone else's happiness.
- - against all U
- - the U is logically comitted to this (implies by objectivist)
- - my happiness isnt MORE, but should also be considered in judgements.
what is loss of integrity and which U is it against?
- (integrity is to uphold your values even when situation makes it difficult)
- - against ACT U
- - there is always a possible situation in wihch the AU must deny rather than uphold his/her values. when denying the value increases utility. this is a paragon case of integrity .
- - you have to kill this man inorder to save the children on the bus
who says p1 "negative responsibility is highly counter intuitive. p2 therefore reject negative responsibilty. which means reject utilitarianism.
who says p1" negative responsibility is highly counter intuitive. p2 therefore change intuitions (by accepting negative responsibility)?
what are Singers Premises?
- 1. easily preventable deaths are bad.
- 2.s if we can prevent something terrible without losing something of comparable moral significance we should do so.
- 2.w. if we can prevent something terrible without losing anything of moral significance, we should do so
- Therefore: drastic change in how we should act
what are the effects of the weak principle according to singer?
- it upsets our moral catergories.
- - blurs/erases distinction between charity and duty in ethics it is between superoregatory and obligation
what are the effects of the strong principle according to singer?
- this is when you give to the point of marginal utility.
- - you give and give until you actually are worse off than they are
what are the psychological events of singers premise 2?
- they are not logical or relevant to ethics.
- - I feel less guilty about not donating to africa, because they are so far away.
- - when donating they give you pics, to show who you are helping, this is a psychological event to make you feel better.
what does singer say about the millionare's yaht business shutting down?
we are destroying jobs, but moving them
what are some objects against singer, and singers response to them?
- - charity begins at home(we should help those close to us first) SR: this is conventionalist. yes you should if they are worse off.
- - dont i have a right to spend my money how i want as long as it follows law? SR: a case can be made for answering no, by moral obligation. I am not talking rights, i am talking shoulds
- -if every did that.... SR: we are grounded in reality, talking about the way the world is
- -do i have responsibility to help those i have never harmed? SR: we have harmed them, our ancestors, our gov't now with price gowging. plus paying forward, : social security and pollution.
what are some worries against AU?
- loss of intergrity
- more bias and more error since acting first
- Intensity Issue (says kill the kids b/c Fish's happiness is more utils)
What are some worries against RU
- 99% problem: if rule works 99% of the time it doesnt justify us in following it the 1% it doesnt work.
- (running red light/ or speeding to save bleeding son)
what are some worries against U
- negative responsibility: you are responsible for what you choose to do and not to do
- extreme impartiality: everyones happiness is the exact same
- calculation is difficult: must think of all possible consequences
- have to recognize and consider everyone elese utils, and their values
- best guess is not good enough: we dont want fallibilist ehtics
- the problem of idiots: U is more vulernerable to bias, tunnel vision and calculation error
- intensity issues: more for H.A.U (says kill the kid, but Fish gets 100K utils for doing so, and we only loose 12K
- intentions cannot matter to U ( walk pass blood drive, you dont intend to kill 1 person)
- the problem of idiots:
what is williams opinion about remoteness and its effects?
they did matter and should be acounted for when weighing the options: ex to save family of 4 or your two family members... it says you should take into account to save your family because it does matter. It just doesnt matter enough, so you should still decide to save the strangers family of 4.