Mill Utilitarianism

The flashcards below were created by user misol on FreezingBlue Flashcards.

  1. Greatest Happiness Principle
    If an action tends to produce happiness, it is good. If it tends to produce unhappiness, it is bad

    • happiness = pleasure
    • unhappiness = pain/deprivation of pleasure
  2. Criticism of Utilitarianism 
    1. Basing morality on humans degrades humans, makes us just like animals
    There's difference between quality (higher, mental, human) and quantity (lower, physical, animal) of pleasure
  3. Scenario: shaw-shank Redemption movie
    Andy plays opera over speakers in prison. Was put in solitary confinement for 1 week. Everyone said ti was terrible but he said it was super easy because he had his music with him.

    • Love of music = quality
    • Pain = quantity
  4. Quantity vs Quality, which to pick?
    Mill says you would trade quality for quantity any time if it let you have quality.
  5. Scenario: scientist
    Scientists doing research have quantity in it, but quality makes it worth it
  6. If you have to decide between the two, how to chose?
    • A = quality 
    • B = quantity 

    • refer to those who have had experience of both. If not unanimous, go with majority
    • OR 
    • pick the one that they'll pick even if it comes with negative consequences or less in amount (little pleasure lots of pain)
  7. human vs pig
    better to be a human unhappy than a pig happy
  8. Criticism 
    2. Happiness is unattainable/impossible

    • It depends on definition of happiness
    • Continual euphoria? This is impossible BUT its not utilitarianism
    • Util Means more pleasure than pain, this IS possible
  9. Criticism 
    2. Happiness is unattainable/impossible 

    B.How is it possible?
    Tranquility - living simple with out much things, focus on what you can get.

    Excitement - rock star, intense moment of a pleasure but often burn out quickly, lose everything, die early. Professional athlete train often and lots of pain but lots of pleasure in winning.
  10. Scenario: Beautiful Mind
    most guys go for beautiful girl, so go for "ugly one" because more of a chance
  11. Criticism 
    2. Happiness is unattainable/impossible 

    B.How is it possible?
    • Mental Cultivation
    • Don't need degree or anything, just mental appreciation (don't need to play an instrument to appreciate music)
  12. Criticism 
    2. Happiness is unattainable/impossible

    C. Suffering
    • Poverty and Disease. 
    • Util doesn't accept that these things are permanent, but goes forth to try and remove these things. 
    • Through human care and effort we can get rid of these things.
  13. Criticism 
    2. Happiness is unattainable/impossible

    D. My happiness connected to others?
    I must be impartial to my own happiness
  14. Criticism 
    3. Util makes people cold and unsympathetic 
    until doesn't not take account of character (virtue and vices) 

    good person, bad outcome you should look at the whole process
    • All moral theories focus on their principles
    • character depends on outcome (tend good outcome then good person, tend bad outcome then bad person)
  15. Criticism 
    4. Util is godless
    • God wants his creatures to be happy 
    • Is util contrary to religion? No its not b/c God and util want the same thing

    BUT util doesn't explicitly promote religion
  16. 5. Util is an expedient
    1. Do something for gratification now (ie lying)
    2. Benefits you and not everyone (ie politicians)
    What action tends to cause 

    • lying creates mistrust which is a BAD outcome, so you you shouldn't lie. 
    • Exception is it will save someone from terrible harm
  17. Criticism
    6. There is not time to make calculations (don't know outcomes)
    • You don't need to make calculations because society has already calculated outcomes
    • All of human history has already told us what is right and wrong
  18. Inductive vs Intuitive
    both are same b/c tell us a principle to follow. Tell us same thing is right and wrong but different justification (evidence vs authority)

    • Inductive - observation and experience (Mill)
    • Intuitive - a priori (Kant)
  19. Kant
    • A priori morality 
    • Apply the categorical imperative and there is no contradiction
    • In reality Kant reveals negative consequences which is utilitarianism (Kant is util)
  20. Why favor inductive?
    All a priori does not quite justify. But when they do and make an argument its util argument b/c it looks at outcome

    ie universal law. There is no contradiction, just if you do x practice there's negative consequences
  21. science vs morality
    science goes from particular to general without having to dig deep. based on basic assumptions 

    morality you have to know the end goal before determine what's right and wrong. general principle first then tell you what's right and wrong
Card Set
Mill Utilitarianism
Mill Philosophy
Show Answers