Intro to Ethics

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Intro to Ethics
2012-03-03 13:02:28

Chapter 12
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  1. Chapter 12: Utilitarianism

    Chapter 12: Utilitarianism
    • In contrast to Kant, Mill argues that the rightness or wrongness on an
    • action consists not in its motivating reason but in its anticipated
    • consequences. According to his principle of utility, actions are moral
    • to the extent that they promote the greatest happiness for the greatest
    • number of people. Mill understands happiness as pleasure and the freedom
    • from pain, "the only things desirable as ends" (because they are the
    • only things actually desired as ends), allowing that some
    • pleasures are qualitatively better than others. The inherent superiority
    • of some particular pleasure over another can be seen by the fact that
    • all or almost all of those who have had experience of both will have a
    • decided preference for one, regardless of any feeling of moral
    • obligation to prefer it. The utilitarian standard of morality is not the
    • agent"s own happiness but the happiness of all concerned, each of whom
    • should be given equal consideration.
  2. Utilitarianism
    • Moral theory holding that actions
    • are right to the extent that they promote as much happiness as possible
    • and wrong to the extent that they promote unhappiness, each person
    • counting equally.
  3. Happiness
    According to Mill's utilitarianism, pleasure and the absence of pain, the only intrinsically desirable goods.
  4. Higher pleasures
    • Intellectual and moral pleasures, which are
    • superior to lower, merely bodily pleasures not because of their
    • intrinsic nature but because of their circumstantial advantages, such as
    • greater permanence, safety, and inexpensiveness.