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.Utilitarianism is the idea that the moral worth of an action is determined solely by its utility in providing happiness or pleasure as summed among all sentient beings.^ Behind such a veil of ignorance all individuals are specified as rational, free, and morally equal beings.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ From this, he derived the rule of utility: the good is whatever brings the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people, human beings ( Utilitarianism , Wikipedia) .
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The classical utilitarian idea to calculate individual utility out of a utility function is discarded in the context of NU. Like prioritarianism, NU concentrates on the calculation of social welfare out of individual utilities.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

It is thus a form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined by its outcome. .The most influential contributors to this ideology were Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.^ La filosofia guispolitica di Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, John Stuart Mill .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

^ John Stuart Mill, Miscellaneous Writings , ed.
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

^ John Stuart Mill and the Catholic Question in 1825 .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

.Utilitarianism is often described by the phrase "the greatest good for the greatest number of people"[1], and is also known as "the greatest happiness principle". Utility, the good to be maximized, has been defined by various thinkers as happiness or pleasure (versus suffering or pain), although preference utilitarians define it as the satisfaction of preferences.^ From this, he derived the rule of utility: the good is whatever brings the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people, human beings ( Utilitarianism , Wikipedia) .
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The term preference-satisfaction relates to any kind of happiness, and the term preference-frustration to any kind of suffering.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Utility corresponds to the net value of preference-satisfactions and preference-frustrations and (in contrast to classical utilitarianism) the concept of preference is not restricted to goods and services.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

.It may be described as a life stance, with happiness or pleasure being of ultimate importance.^ Nevertheless (since a person may also die in an accident without being conscious of such a loss) the complete devaluation of happiness is a conceptual weakness.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The Importance of Being Important: Euthanasia and Critical Interests in Dworkins Lifes Dominion .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

Utilitarianism can be characterised as a quantitative and reductionist approach to ethics. .It can be contrasted with deontological ethics (which do not regard the consequences of an act as being a determinant of its moral worth) and virtue ethics (which focuses on character), as well as with other varieties of consequentialism.^ Well-being has several dimensions, some of which can be influenced, whereas others cant.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Virtue Ethics vs. Rule-Consequentialism: A Reply to Brad Hooker .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

^ Well-being and Morality: Essays in Honour of James Griffin .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

In general usage, the term utilitarian refers to a somewhat narrow economic or pragmatic viewpoint. Philosophical utilitarianism, however, is a much broader view that encompasses all aspects of people's lives.

Contents

History

Jeremy Bentham
.The origins of utilitarianism are often traced as far back as the Greek philosopher Epicurus, but, as a specific school of thought, it is generally credited to Jeremy Bentham.^ Greek philosopher Epicurus has sometimes been caricatured as crude hedonist .
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

[2] .Bentham found pain and pleasure to be the only intrinsic values in the world: "nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure."^ Bentham found pain and pleasure to be the only intrinsic values in the world: "nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure."
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The presence of pain is bad and the absence of pain is good, but whereas the presence of pleasure is good, the absence of pleasure is bad only if somebody is deprived of that pleasure ( Better if it had never been , David Benatar,) .
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Bentham, J. , Value of a Pain or Pleasure (1778), in: B. Parekh (ed.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

[3] .From this, he derived the rule of utility: the good is whatever brings the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people.^ From this, he derived the rule of utility: the good is whatever brings the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people, human beings ( Utilitarianism , Wikipedia) .
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ It would compensate the number of unhappy people with the happy ones and valuate the situation positive.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ NU would attempt to decrease the number of not at all happy people with first priority and valuate the situation negative as long as extremely suffering people exist.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

.Bentham's foremost proponent was James Mill, a significant philosopher in his day and the father of John Stuart Mill.^ La filosofia guispolitica di Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, John Stuart Mill .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

^ John Stuart Mill, Miscellaneous Writings , ed.
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

^ John Stuart Mill and the Catholic Question in 1825 .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

The younger Mill was educated according to Bentham's principles, including transcribing and summarizing much of his father's work while still in his teens.[4]
.In his famous work, Utilitarianism, the younger Mill argues that cultural, intellectual and spiritual pleasures are of greater value than mere physical pleasure because the former would be valued higher than the latter by competent judges.^ We see that the weight we have to give to Pam in order to pull down the moral value of society 1 (below society 2) is much higher than in above example.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ One extra unit of utility for a starving person is not seen to be of any greater value than an extra unit of utility for a millionaire.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The negative utilitarian position is functionally equivalent to a certain type of classical utilitarian position - a position where pleasure holds very little value ( Negativity , utilitarian.org).
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

A competent judge, according to Mill, is anyone who has experienced both the lower pleasures and the higher. .His famous quote found in Utilitarianism (book) was, "it is better to be a human dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied"[5] demonstrating Mill's distinction between higher and lower pleasures.^ Prioritarians would say that society 2 is better or more desirable than society 1 despite being lower than society 1 in terms of overall well-being.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The thesis in other words goes as follows: Human rights cause lower risks than a further restriction of those rights.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

He justified this distinction by the thought that "few human creatures would consent to be changed into any of the lower animals, for a promise of the fullest allowance of a beast's pleasures."[5] .In distinguishing between types of pleasure, Mill distanced himself from Bentham, who famously said[6] that the child's game of push-pin is as good as poetry (assuming that the two bring equal quantities of pleasure).^ Under a given GNP the maximum social welfare can be attained, if the goods are equally distributed among the two persons [Kleinewefers, 41].
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ It is assumed that the utility (usefulness) of the two goods is the same for both persons.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Lets assume the society consists of two persons P 1 and P 2 , who dispose of two goods G 1 and G 2 .
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

.Like Bentham's formulation, Mill's utilitarianism deals with pleasure and happiness.^ The failure of happiness-promoting philosophies like classical utilitarianism and Marxism .
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Utilitarian Strategies in Bentham and John Stuart Mill .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

.However John Stuart Mill made a clear distinction between happiness and pleasure; and made it evident that Weak Rule Utilitarianism was focused on maximising happiness rather than pleasure; for the naturalistic fallacy made it clear that what one desires and what is good are not always the same thing.^ John Stuart Mill, Miscellaneous Writings , ed.
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

^ From this, he derived the rule of utility: the good is whatever brings the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people, human beings ( Utilitarianism , Wikipedia) .
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ John M. Robson ( Collected Works of John Stuart Mill , volumes xxvi and xxvii) .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

For example a pleasure/desire may be to bully a lonely child, which may produce pleasure, however happiness comes from following virtues rather than desires.
John Stuart Mill
.The classic utilitarianism of Bentham and Mill influenced many other philosophers as well as the development of the broader concept of consequentialism.^ Well-being has several dimensions, some of which can be influenced, whereas others cant.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Utility corresponds to the net value of preference-satisfactions and preference-frustrations and (in contrast to classical utilitarianism) the concept of preference is not restricted to goods and services.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ As well as classical utilitarianism, prioritarianism is a consequentialist theory: .
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

.As a result, there now exist many different accounts of the good, and, therefore, many different types of consequentialism besides utilitarianism.^ There are various interpretations of Rawls difference principle (besides Maximin ) so that a comparison is accordingly difficult.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ What difference does it make, if global ethical priorities are based on the classical utilitarian approach to save as many lives as possible or the negative utilitarian approach to remove as much suffering as possible ?
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

.Some philosophers Edward Westermarck The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas 2 Vol.^ Some theorists have developed a justification of prioritarianism , based on risk aversion in the original position [Atkinson / Stiglitz, 340; Hurley, 368-382].
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

- reject the sole importance of well-being, arguing that there are intrinsic values other than happiness or pleasure, such as knowledge and autonomy.
.Other past advocates of utilitarianism include William Godwin and Henry Sidgwick; modern-day advocates include R. M. Hare, Peter Singer and Torbjörn Tännsjö.^ Torbjörn Tännsjö, Hedonistic Utilitarianism .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

^ The Coherence of Two-Level Utilitarianism: Hare vs. Williams .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

.Up to and including John Stuart Mill, utilitarianism was mainly the province of practical reformers.^ These included his secretary and collaborator on the utilitarian school of philosophy, James Mill ; James Mill's son John Stuart Mill ; and several political leaders including Robert Owen , who later became a founder of socialism () .
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

.The publication of Henry Sidgwick's The Methods of Ethics in 1874 can be viewed as the date utilitarianism began to be more commonly associated with academic philosophy.^ Henry Sidgwick, Essays on Ethics and Method , ed.
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

^ Henry Sidgwicks Practical Ethics .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

^ Henry Sidgwick's practical Ethics: A Defense .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

.Utilitarianism has been used as an argument for many different political views.^ Utilitarianism has been used as an argument for many different political views.
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.martinfrost.ws [Source type: Original source]
  • yawiki.org entry for Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC yawiki.org [Source type: Original source]
  • Utilitarianism.eu 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitarianism.eu [Source type: Original source]
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC pustakalaya.olenepal.org [Source type: Original source]
  • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Utilitarianism had as its principle early function (by Bentham and his circle) been used to bring moral considerations as a measurement of then current economic policies and political agendas.
  • UTILITARIANISM: the ethical theory for all times. 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC skeptically.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ At least for myself if not many others, DP's account of other's views of utilitarianism is in no way accurate (nor I suspect made in good faith).

In his essay On Liberty, as well as in other works, John Stuart Mill argues that utilitarianism requires that political arrangements satisfy the "liberty principle" (or harm principle), according to which "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."[7] Prevention of self-harm by other persons was considered expressly forbidden. Instead, Mill states that only persuasion can be rightfully used to prevent self-harm.[citation needed]
Ludwig von Mises advocated libertarianism using utilitarian arguments. Likewise, some Marxist philosophers have used utilitarianism as arguments for communism and socialism.[citation needed]

Types

Act v rule

Act utilitarianism states that, when faced with a choice, we must first consider the likely consequences of potential actions and, from that, choose to do what we believe will generate most pleasure. .The rule utilitarian, on the other hand, begins by looking at potential rules of action.^ NU, on the other hand, considers skepticism as a principle which blocks action and perpetuates extreme suffering.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

.To determine whether a rule should be followed, he looks at what would happen if it were constantly followed.^ The welfare function according to Pigou would look as follows: .
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The welfare function according to Bentham would look as follows: .
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

If adherence to the rule produces more happiness than otherwise, it is a rule that morally must be followed at all times. .The distinction between act and rule utilitarianism is therefore based on a difference about the proper object of consequentialist calculation — specific to a case or generalized to rules.^ What difference does it make, if global ethical priorities are based on the classical utilitarian approach to save as many lives as possible or the negative utilitarian approach to remove as much suffering as possible ?
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The relation between classical utilitarianism and NU can best be understood if the two ethics are seen as border cases within prioritarianism.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

.Rule utilitarianism has been criticized for advocating general rules that will in some specific circumstances clearly decrease happiness if followed.^ However with rule utilitarianism, this criticism is sharpened.
  • Utilitarianism v. Objectivism: The Throwdown - Jolt Forums 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC forums.joltonline.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Rule utilitarianism has been criticized for advocating general rules that will in some specific circumstances clearly decrease happiness if followed.
  • Ethics Text page 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC pirate.shu.edu [Source type: Original source]
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.martinfrost.ws [Source type: Original source]
  • yawiki.org entry for Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC yawiki.org [Source type: Original source]
  • Utilitarianism.eu 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitarianism.eu [Source type: Original source]
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC pustakalaya.olenepal.org [Source type: Original source]
  • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

^ For the sake of argument, lets say we can attribute numbers to utility and that we are following the rules of utilitarianism as set forth by Mill when constructing the following utility table.
  • PsychoNoble - Mill, Utilitarianism, and Rights 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.psychonoble.com [Source type: Original source]

.Never to kill another human being may seem to be a good rule, but it could make self-defense against malevolent aggressors very difficult.^ He argued that animal pain is very similar to human pain and that the day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny.
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ From this, he derived the rule of utility: the good is whatever brings the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people, human beings ( Utilitarianism , Wikipedia) .
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

Rule utilitarians add, however, that there are general exception rules that allow the breaking of other rules if such rule-breaking increases happiness, one example being self-defense. Critics argue that this reduces rule utilitarianism to act utilitarianism and makes rules meaningless. Rule utilitarians retort that rules in the legal system (i.e. laws) that regulate such situations are not meaningless. Self-defense is legally justified, while murder is not.
However there is within rule utilitarianism a distinction between the strictness and absolutism of this particular branch of utilitarianism. There is Strong Rule Utilitarianism which is an absolutist theory which frames strict rules which apply for all people and all time and may never be broken. Weak Rule utilitarianism however was the branch of utilitarianism that was proposed by John Stuart Mill and entailed that although rules should be framed on previous examples that benefit society; such as do not lie, it is possible under specific circumstances to do that which produces the greatest happiness and to break that rule. An example would be the Gestapo asking where your Jewish neighbours were... A strong rule utilitarian might say that the rule "Do not lie" can never be broken, whereas a weak rule utilitarian would argue that to lie would be the result that would produce the most happiness
Rule utilitarianism should not be confused with heuristics (rules of thumb), but many act utilitarians agree that it makes sense to formulate certain rules of thumb to follow if they find themselves in a situation whose consequences are difficult, costly or time-consuming to calculate exactly. If the consequences can be calculated relatively clearly and without much doubt, however, the rules of thumb can be ignored.

Collapse of rule utilitarianism into act utilitarianism

It has been argued[8] that rule utilitarianism collapses into act utilitarianism, because for any given rule, in the case where breaking the rule produces more utility, the rule can be sophisticated by the addition of a sub-rule that handles cases like the exception. This process holds for all cases of exceptions, and so the 'rules' will have as many 'sub-rules' as there are exceptional cases, which, in the end, makes an agent seek out whatever outcome produces the maximum utility.[9]

Two-level

.Two-level utilitarianism states that one should normally use 'intuitive' moral thinking, in the form of rule utilitarianism, because it usually maximizes happiness.^ The Coherence of Two-Level Utilitarianism: Hare vs. Williams .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

However there are some times when we must ascend to a higher 'critical' level of reflection in order to decide what to do, and must think as an act utilitarian would. Richard Hare supported this theory with his concept of the Archangel, which holds that if we were all 'archangels' we could be act utilitarians all the time as we would be able to perfectly predict consequences. However we are closer to 'proles' in that we are frequently biased and unable to foresee all possible consequence of our actions, and thus we require moral guidelines. When these principles clash we must attempt to think like an archangel in order to choose the right course of action.

Negative

.Most utilitarian theories deal with producing the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people.^ The Greatest Happiness Principle and Other Early German Anticipations of Utilitarian Theory .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

Negative utilitarianism (NU) requires us to promote the least amount of evil or harm, or to prevent the greatest amount of suffering for the greatest number. Proponents like Karl Popper, Christoph Fehige and Clark Wolf argue that this is a more effective ethical formula, since, they contend, the greatest harms are more consequential than the greatest goods. Karl Popper also referred to an epistemological argument: “It adds to clarity in the fields of ethics, if we formulate our demands negatively, i.e. if we demand the elimination of suffering rather than the promotion of happiness.” [10]. In the practical implementation of this idea the following versions can be distinguished:
1. R.N.Smart, an advocate of the utilitarian principle, was quick to suggest that the ultimate aim of NU would be to engender the quickest and least painful method of killing the entirety of humanity, as this ultimately would effectively minimize suffering. NU would seem to call for the destruction of the world even if only to avoid the pain of a pinprick [11].
2. Newer, moderate versions of NU do not attempt to minimize all kinds of suffering but only those kinds that are created by the frustration of preferences.[12] In most supporters of moderate NU the preference to survive is stronger than the wish to be freed from suffering, so that they refuse the idea of a quick and painless destruction of life. Some of them believe that, in time, the worst cases of suffering will be defeated and a world of minor suffering can be realized. The principal agents of this direction can be found in the environment of transhumanism and abolitionism (bioethics) [13].
Supporters of moderate NU who do not believe in the promises of technology would prefer a reduction of the world population (and in the extreme case an empty world). This seems to come down to the position of radical NU, but in moderate NU the world could only be sacrificed to prevent extreme suffering and not to avoid the pain of a pinprick. And from the claim that an empty world would be a preferable state of affairs, it does not follow that a political movement should be formed with the aim of achieving such a state of affairs. The latter would definitely (and in analogy to radical NU) be counterproductive. Pessimistic supporters of moderate NU therefore tend towards a retreat oriented way of living.
3. Finally there are theoreticians who see NU as a branch within classical utilitarianism, rather than an independent theory. This interpretation overlooks Derek Parfit's “Repugnant Conclusion[14]. NU is precisely characterized by overcoming this theoretical weakness of classical utilitarianism.

Average v total

Total utilitarianism advocates measuring the utility of a population based on the total utility of its members. .According to Derek Parfit, this type of utilitarianism falls victim to the Repugnant Conclusion, whereby large numbers of people with very low but non-negative utility values can be seen as a better goal than a population of a less extreme size living in comfort.^ On the Cross of Mere Utility: Utilitarianism, Sacrifices, and the Value of Persons .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

In other words, according to the theory, it is a moral good to breed more people on the world for as long as total happiness rises.[15]
Average utilitarianism, on the other hand, advocates measuring the utility of a population based on the average utility of that population. It avoids Parfit's repugnant conclusion, but causes other problems like the Mere Addition Paradox. For example, bringing a moderately happy person in a very happy world would be seen as an immoral act; aside from this, the theory implies that it would be a moral good to eliminate all people whose happiness is below average, as this would raise the average happiness[16].

Other species

Peter Singer
.Peter Singer, along with many animal rights activists, has argued that the well-being of all sentient beings, conscious ones who feel pain; including some non-humans,[citation needed] deserves equal consideration to that given human beings.^ Which Beings Deserve Ethical Consideration?
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

^ Peter Singer, One World: The Ethics of Globalization .
  • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

Otherwise, it would be a case of speciesism. Bentham made a similar argument.
This view may be contrasted with deep ecology, which holds that an intrinsic value is attached to all forms of life and nature. According to utilitarianism, most forms of life are unable to experience anything akin to pleasure or discomfort, and are therefore denied moral status.[citation needed] Thus, the moral value of organisms that do not experience pleasure or discomfort, or natural entities like a river, is only in the benefit they provide to sentient beings. Similarly, utilitarianism places no intrinsic value on biodiversity.

Combinations with other ethical schools

In order to overcome the perceived shortcomings of both systems, several attempts have been made to reconcile utilitarianism with Kant's categorical imperative. James Cornman proposes that, in any given situation, we should treat as "means" as few people as possible and as "ends" as many as are consistent with those "means". He refers to this as the "Utilitarian Kantian Principle".
Other consequentialists may consider happiness an important consequence but argue in addition that consequences such as justice or equality should also be valued, regardless of whether or not they increase happiness.

Biological explanation

.It has been suggested that sociobiology, the study of the evolution of human society, provides support for the utilitarian point of view.^ Biological explanation for utilitarianism It has been suggested that sociobiology , the study of the evolution of human society, provides support for the utilitarian point of view.
  • yawiki.org entry for Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC yawiki.org [Source type: Original source]

^ It has been suggested that that sociobiology , the study of the evolution of human society, provides support for the utilitarian point of view.
  • Ethics Text page 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC pirate.shu.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ It has been suggested that sociobiology, the study of the evolution of human society, provides support for the utilitarian point of view.

.For example, in The Expanding Circle: Ethics and Sociobiology, the utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer argues that fundamentally utilitarian ethical reasoning has existed from the time primitive foraging bands had to cooperate, compromise, and make group decisions to survive.^ UTILITARIANISM: the ethical theory for all times.
  • UTILITARIAN LINKS 20 September 2009 5:59 UTC skeptically.org [Source type: Academic]
  • BENTHAM: ON THE RATIONAL OF REWARD 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC jeromekahn123.tripod.com [Source type: Original source]

^ For example, in The Expanding Circle: Ethics and Sociobiology , the utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer argues that fundamentally utilitarian ethical reasoning has existed from the time primitive foraging bands had to cooperate, compromise, and make group decisions to survive.
  • Ethics Text page 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC pirate.shu.edu [Source type: Original source]
  • yawiki.org entry for Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC yawiki.org [Source type: Original source]
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC pustakalaya.olenepal.org [Source type: Original source]
  • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Another reason for an egoist to become a utilitarian was proposed by Peter Singer in Practical Ethics.
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.martinfrost.ws [Source type: Original source]

.He elaborates: "In a dispute between members of a cohesive group of reasoning beings, the demand for a reason is a demand for a justification that can be accepted by the group as a whole."^ He elaborates: "In a dispute between members of a cohesive group of reasoning beings, the demand for a reason is a demand for a justification that can be accepted by the group as a whole."
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.martinfrost.ws [Source type: Original source]
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.Thus, consideration of others' interests has long been a necessary part of the human experience.^ I care about the interests of other humans.
  • Environmental Economics: The Problems and Limitations of Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.env-econ.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Thus, consideration of others' interests has long been a necessary part of the human experience.
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^ On a related note, utilitarianism avoids the charge of speciesism in ethical theory by using a moral foundation that is shared by other species, thus requiring their consideration.
  • http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~cp28/ethterm.htm 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.pages.drexel.edu [Source type: Original source]

Singer believes that reason now compels the equal consideration of all people's interests:
."If I have seen that from an ethical point of view I am just one person among the many in my society, and my interests are no more important, from the point of view of the whole, than the similar interests of others within my society, I am ready to see that, from a still larger point of view, my society is just one among other societies, and the interests of members of my society are no more important, from that larger perspective, than the similar interests of members of other societies… Taking the impartial element in ethical reasoning to its logical conclusion means, first, accepting that we ought to have equal concern for all human beings."^ The Importance of Being Important: Euthanasia and Critical Interests in Dworkins Lifes Dominion .
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^ Are Some Inequalities More Unequal than Others?
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^ Why We Ought to Accept the Repugnant Conclusion .
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This conclusion – that everybody's interests should be considered equally when making decisions – is a core tenet of utilitarianism.
.Singer elaborates that viewing oneself as equal to others in one's society and at the same time viewing one's society as fundamentally superior to other societies may cause an uncomfortable cognitive dissonance.^ Singer elaborates that viewing oneself as equal to others in one's society and at the same time viewing one's society as fundamentally superior to other societies may cause an uncomfortable cognitive dissonance .
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^ Singer elaborates that viewing oneself as equal to others in one's society and at the same time viewing one's society as fundamentally superior to other societies may cause an uncomfortable cognitive dissonance.

^ Egalitarian :  Jeremy Bentham incorporate the essential component of moral equality by means of the formula, "Each to count for one and none for more than one."  Henry Sidgwick (1838-1900) expressed the same idea in the following statement: "The good of any individual is of more importance, from the point of view (if I may say so) of the Universe, than the good of any other.
  • Normative Ethics 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.tamucc.edu [Source type: Original source]

.This is the sense in which he means that reason may push people to accept a broader utilitarian stance.^ This is the sense in which he means that reason may push people to accept a broader utilitarian stance.
  • Ethics Text page 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC pirate.shu.edu [Source type: Original source]
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^ For to what to be skeptical about in a topic (especially one that is both logical and accepted by well educated people) one must know a more reasonable alternative.
  • UTILITARIANISM: the ethical theory for all times. 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC skeptically.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Act utilitarians, on the other hand, do not accept human rights as moral principles in and of themselves, but that does not mean they are rejected altogether.
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Critics (e.g., Binmore 2005) point out that this cognitive dissonance is apparently not very strong, since people often knowingly ignore the interests of faraway societies quite similar to their own. They also note that the "ought" of the quoted paragraph applies only to someone who has already accepted the premise that all societies are equally important. .Singer has responded that his argument in Expanding the Circle wasn't intended to provide a complete philosophical justification for a utilitarian categorical imperative, but merely to provide a plausible explanation for how some people come to accept utilitarianism.^ [FN5] Some people are persuaded by this argument.
  • PERSON-AFFECTING UTILITARIANISM AND POPULATION POLICY 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.public.iastate.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Some utilitarians accepted the force of the counterexample argument.

^ Singer has responded that his argument in Expanding the Circle wasn't intended to provide a complete philosophical justification for a utilitarian categorical imperative, but merely to provide a plausible explanation for how some people come to accept utilitarianism.

Criticism and defense

Aggregating utility

.John Rawls gives a critique of Utilitarianism in A Theory Of Justice that rejects the idea that the happiness of two distinct persons could be meaningfully counted together.^ John Rawls, Justice as Fairness: A Restatement .
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^ The Greatest Happiness Principle and Other Early German Anticipations of Utilitarian Theory .
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He argues that this entails treating a group of many as if it were a single sentient entity, mistakenly ignoring the separation of consciousness.[17] Animal Rights advocate Richard Ryder calls this the 'boundary of the individual', through which neither pain nor pleasure may pass.[18] Thus the aggregation of utility becomes futile as both pain and happiness are intrinsic to and inseparable from the consciousness in which they are felt, rendering impossible the task of adding up the various pleasures of multiple individuals.
However, it should be noted that the apparent separation and consistency of individual consciousness, which is both a strong human intuition and an implicit premise in this critique, is itself a subject of debate and criticism in the philosophy of mind.

Predicting consequences

Daniel Dennett uses the case of the Three Mile Island accident as an example of the difficulty in calculating happiness.[19] .Was the near-meltdown that occurred at this nuclear power plant a good or a bad thing (according to utilitarianism)?^ Was the near-meltdown that occurred at this nuclear power plant a good or a bad thing (according to utilitarianism)?
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^ Second, Mill is not a preference utilitarian in the sense that things are good simply for the reason that people happen to prefer them.
  • The International Journal of Applied Philosophy, 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC libarts.wsu.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ If one were substantially more affluent than this person, giving him money would cause less harm to oneself than good to him, and therefore would be the utilitarian thing to do.
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.He points out that its long-term effects on nuclear policy would be considered beneficial by many and might outweigh the negative consequences.^ He points out that its long-term effects on nuclear policy would be considered beneficial by many and might outweigh the negative consequences.
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^ This would be bad even if I never found out that there were no more rhinos left in the world - even if it had no effect whatsoever on my conscious life.
  • 20th WCP: Preference-utilitarianism and Past Preferences 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.bu.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Let us consider a famous act, which we would suppose to have a lot of significant consequences, and a less famous act.
  • ACT UTILITARIANISM AND DECISION PROCEDURES 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC kant1.chch.ox.ac.uk [Source type: Original source]

His conclusion is that it is still too early, 30 years after the event, for utilitarianism to weigh all the evidence and reach a definite conclusion. .Utilitarians note that utilitarianism seems to be the unspoken principle used by both advocates and critics of nuclear power.^ Utilitarians note that utilitarianism seems to be the unspoken principle used by both advocates and critics of nuclear power.
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^ From my experience, when they're not being used synonymously, people use the term 'ethics' to describe functional or utilitarian social principles, and 'morals' to describe authoritative or ideal principles.
  • Daylight Atheism > The Roots of Morality IV: The Theistic Rubber Stamp 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.daylightatheism.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Not having a firm background in philosophy, perhaps I am off the mark here, but The Gay Species seems to be refering to a form of Utilitarianism radically different to what Ebon has been advocating.
  • Daylight Atheism > The Roots of Morality IV: The Theistic Rubber Stamp 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.daylightatheism.org [Source type: Original source]

[citation needed] That something cannot be determined at the moment is common in science and frequently resolved with later advancements.
Utilitarians, however, are not required to have perfect knowledge; indeed, certain knowledge of consequences is impossible because consequences are in the unexperienced future. Utilitarians simply try their best to maximise happiness (or other forms of utility) and, to do this, make their best estimates of the consequences. If the consequences of a decision are particularly unclear, it may make sense to follow an ethical rule which has promoted the most utility in the past. Utilitarians also note that people trying to further their own interests frequently run into situations in which the consequences of their decisions are very unclear. This does not mean, however, that they are unable to make a decision; much the same applies to utilitarianism.
Anthony Kenny argues against utilitarianism on the grounds that determinism is either true or false: if it is true, we have no choice over our actions; if it is false, the consequences of our actions are unpredictable, not least because they depend upon the actions of others whom we cannot predict.[20]

Importance of intentions

Utilitarianism has been criticised for looking only at the results of actions, not at the desires or intentions that motivate them, which many consider important, too. An action intended to cause harm but which inadvertently causes good would be judged equal to the good result of an action done with the best intentions. Many utilitarians argue that utilitarianism applies not only to results but also to desires and dispositions, praise and blame, and rules, institutions and punishment. Bad intentions may cause harm (to the agent and to others) even if they do not result in bad acts. Once this is recognised, supporters argue that utilitarianism becomes a much more complex, and rich, moral theory, and may align far more closely with our moral intuitions.
Furthermore, many utilitarians view morality as a personal guide rather than a means to judge the actions of other people, or actions which have already been performed: morality is something to be looked at when deciding what to do. In this sense, intentions are all that matter, because the consequences cannot be known with certainty until the decision has been made.
.One philosopher to take this view is Henry Sidgwick, in his main work The Methods of Ethics (1874).^ Henry Sidgwick, Essays on Ethics and Method , ed.
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^ Henry Sidgwicks Practical Ethics .
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^ Henry Sidgwick's practical Ethics: A Defense .
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Human rights

Utilitarians argue that justification of slavery, torture or mass murder would require unrealistically large benefits to outweigh the direct and extreme suffering to victims. Utilitarianism would also require the indirect impact of social acceptance of inhumane policies to be taken into consideration, and general anxiety and fear could increase for all if human rights are commonly ignored.
Act and rule utilitarians differ in how they treat human rights themselves. .Under rule utilitarianism, a human right can easily be considered a moral rule.^ Under rule utilitarianism, a human right can easily be considered a moral rule.
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^ Anyway, even if rule utilitarianism accords with some common substantive moral intuitions, it still seems counterintuitive in other ways.
  • Consequentialism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ While it is natural to consider only the well being of humans when interpreting this doctrine, some utilitarians count the interests of any and all sentient beings when assessing overall utility.

Act utilitarians, on the other hand, do not accept human rights as moral principles in and of themselves, but that does not mean that they reject them altogether: first, most act utilitarians, as explained above, would agree that acts such as enslavement and genocide always cause great unhappiness and very little happiness; second, human rights could be considered rules of thumb so that, although torture might be acceptable under some circumstances, as a rule it is immoral; and, finally, act utilitarians often support human rights in a legal sense because utilitarians support laws that cause more good than harm.

Lack of convincing proof

Another criticism of utilitarianism is that it is not proven, either by science or by logic, to be the correct ethical system. Supporters claim that this is common to all ethical schools, and indeed the system of logic itself, and will always remain so unless the problem of the regress argument, or at least the is-ought problem, is satisfactorily resolved. .It might instead be argued that almost all political arguments about a future society use an unspoken utilitarian principle, all sides claiming that their proposed solution is the one that increases human happiness the most.^ Critical Review of Rawls's Political Liberalism : A Utilitarian and Decision-Theoretical Analysis of the Main Arguments .
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^ The Greatest Happiness Principle and Other Early German Anticipations of Utilitarian Theory .
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Mill's argument for utilitarianism holds that pleasure is the only thing desired and that, therefore, pleasure is the only thing desirable. Critics argue that this is like saying that things visible are things seen, or that the only things audible are things heard. A thing is "visible" if it can be seen and "desirable" if it ought to be desired. Thus the word "desirable" presupposes an ethical theory: we cannot infer what is desirable from what is desired. This criticism, however, reads the word "desirable" as "able to be desired" rather than "worth being desired", and does not take into account the moral assessment that must take place in order to categorise something as "desirable", which does not occur when categorising the same thing as "visible" or "audible".

Individual interests vs. a greater sum of lesser interests

Critics have also asked why one should follow utilitarianism instead of ethical egoism. The legal system might punish behavior that harms others, but this incentive is not active in a situation where one can personally gain by breaking it without punishment. One egoist, however, may propose means to maximise self-interest that conflict with the means proposed by another egoist. As a result, it behooves them to compromise with one another in order to avoid conflict, out of self-interest. The means proposed may incidentally coincide with those prescribed by utilitarianism, but the foundational ethical imperative would not, of course, be utilitarian.
.Another reason for an egoist to become a utilitarian was proposed by Peter Singer in Practical Ethics.^ Another reason for an egoist to become a utilitarian was proposed by Peter Singer in Practical Ethics .
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^ I do not propose that utilitarian ethics can sustain itself.
  • Further Thoughts on Ethics, Post Jesus « Carried The Cross 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC carriedthecross.wordpress.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Peter Singer, Practical Ethics , 2d ed.
  • Between the Species - Animal Rights Theory and Utilitarianism: RelativeNormative Guidance - Francione 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC cla.calpoly.edu [Source type: Original source]

He presents the paradox of hedonism, which holds that, if your only goal in life is personal happiness, you will never be happy: you need something to be happy about. One goal that Singer feels is likely to bring about personal happiness is the desire to improve the lives of others; that is, to make others happy. .This argument is similar to the one for virtue ethics.^ This argument is similar to the one for virtue ethics .
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^ This argument is similar to the one for virtue ethics.

^ In virtue of such similarities, the objection Moore urges against Mill is equally applicable to Aristotle’s arguments.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

Infinitarian paralysis

Some modern cosmology theories predict an infinite Universe.[21] Philosopher Nick Bostrom claims that in an infinite universe there is an infinite number of planets and each of them has "non‐zero chance of giving rise to intelligent life". According to the philosopher, this means that in infinite universe there is (with probability of one) an infinite number of intelligent beings and therefore an infinite amount of pain and pleasure. However, we can affect only finite amount of pain and pleasure. Yet an infinite quantity can not be changed by adding or subtracting a finite quantity.[22]
According to Nick Bostrom, this means that "every possible act of ours therefore has the same net effect on the total amount of good and bad in a canonically infinite world: none whatsoever."[22] He further states that we can not use an ethical theory which combined with our current best scientific guesses means that it is always ethically indifferent what we do.[22]
Reasons why utilitarianism may remain useful include that the effects of actions might not be finite[23], the limitation to the possible utility on a single planet [24], and the argument that while the universe might be infinite, its mass, number of planets, useful energy and hence possible intelligent life all appear to be finite.[25]

Karl Marx's criticisms

Karl Marx, in Das Kapital, writes:
Not even excepting our philosopher, Christian Wolff, in no time and in no country has the most homespun commonplace ever strutted about in so self-satisfied a way. .The principle of utility was no discovery of Bentham.^ Utility and the Utility Principle: Hume Smith Bentham Mill .
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He simply reproduced in his dull way what Helvétius and other Frenchmen had said with esprit in the 18th century. To know what is useful for a dog, one must study dog-nature. This nature itself is not to be deduced from the principle of utility. Applying this to man, he that would criticise all human acts, movements, relations, etc., by the principle of utility, must first deal with human nature in general, and then with human nature as modified in each historical epoch. Bentham makes short work of it. With the driest naiveté he takes the modern shopkeeper, especially the English shopkeeper, as the normal man. Whatever is useful to this queer normal man, and to his world, is absolutely useful. This yard-measure, then, he applies to past, present, and future. The Christian religion, e.g., is "useful," "because it forbids in the name of religion the same faults that the penal code condemns in the name of the law." Artistic criticism is "harmful," because it disturbs worthy people in their enjoyment of Martin Tupper, etc. With such rubbish has the brave fellow, with his motto, "nulla dies sine line!," piled up mountains of books.[26]
Marx's accusation is twofold. In the first place, he says that the theory of utility is true by definition and thus does not really add anything meaningful. For Marx, a productive inquiry would have to investigate what sorts of things are good for people; that is, what our nature which is alienated under capitalism really is. Second, he says that Bentham fails to take account of the changing character of people, and hence the changing character of what is good for them. This criticism is especially important for Marx, because he believed that all important statements were contingent upon particular historical conditions.
Marx argues that human nature is dynamic, so the concept of a single utility for all humans is one-dimensional and not useful. When he decries Bentham's application of the 'yard measure' of now to 'the past, present and future', he decries the implication that society, and people, have always been, and will always be, as they are now; that is, he criticizes essentialism. As he sees it, this implication is conservatively used to reinforce institutions he regarded as reactionary. Just because in this moment religion has some positive consequences, says Marx, doesn't mean that viewed historically it isn't a regressive institution that should be abolished.
Marx's criticism is more a criticism of Bentham's views (or similar views) of utility, than utilitarianism itself. Utilitarians would not deny that different things make different people happy, and that what promotes happiness changes over time. Neither would utilitarians deny the importance of investigations into what promotes utility.
Marx's criticism applies to all philosophy which does not take explicit account of the movement of history (against dialectics). While he is right that all things change, and that it is necessary to take account of this when making practical judgements, this doesn't mean that it isn't useful to have a theory which gives some means to evaluate those changes themselves.
Also, utilitarianism was originally developed as a challenge to the status quo. The demand that everyone count for one, and one only, was anathema to the elitist society of Victorian Britain.[citation needed]
Although Marx criticized utilitarianism, some Marxist philosophers have used utilitarian principles as arguments for political socialism.

The Wittgensteinian Critique

Contemporary philosophers such as Matthew Ostrow have critiqued utilitarianism from a distinctly Wittgensteinian perspective. According to these philosophers, utilitarians have expanded the very meaning of pleasure to the point of linguistic incoherence. .The utilitarian groundlessly places pleasure as his or her first principle, and in doing so subordinates the value of asceticism, self-sacrifice or any other "secondary" desire.^ On the Cross of Mere Utility: Utilitarianism, Sacrifices, and the Value of Persons .
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^ Brink, Kagan, Utilitarianism and Self-Sacrifice .
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^ The Self-other Asymmetry and Act Utilitarianism .
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Of course, the utilitarian will deny this contention altogether, claiming that ascetics also seek pleasure, but have merely chosen an alternative path in which to achieve it.
Yet such an argument is implicitly tautological ("What is it that people want? Pleasure. But what is pleasure? What people want."). The utilitarian therefore has no ultimate justification for primarily valuing pleasure, other than to say that "this is the way it should be." In this critique, utilitarianism is thus ultimately reduced to a form of dishonest ethical intuitionism, unable to recognize or acknowledge its own groundlessness.

Criticism of other schools

.One utilitarian criticism of other schools is that many of them cannot even in theory solve real-world ethical problems when various inviolable principles collide, like triage or the rightness or otherwise of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.^ The Greatest Happiness Principle and Other Early German Anticipations of Utilitarian Theory .
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A criticism of Kantianism is levelled by R. M. Hare in Could Kant Have Been a Utilitarian? Hare argues that a number of different ethical positions could fit with Kant's description of his Categorical Imperative.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Jeremy Bentham An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789)
  2. ^ Rosen, Frederick (2003). Classical Utilitarianism from Hume to Mill. Routledge, p. 28. ISBN 0-415-22094-7 "It was Hume and Bentham who then reasserted most strongly the Epicurean doctrine concerning utility as the basis of justice."
  3. ^ Jeremy Bentham An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789) Chapter I: On principle of Utility
  4. ^ Mill, John Stuart. 'On Liberty', ed. Himmelfarb. Penguin Classics, 1974, Ed.'s introduction, p.11.
  5. ^ a b John Stuart Mill Utilitarianism Chapter II: What Utilitarianism is. Citata: „Few human creatures would consent to changed into any of the lower animals for a promise of the fullest allowance of a beast pleasures“
  6. ^ Bentham, Jeremy, The Rationale of Reward (London: Robert Heward, 1830), p. 206
  7. ^ Mill, John Stuart. 'On Liberty', ed. Himmelfarb. Penguin Classics, 1974, 'Introductory' of main text, p. 68.
  8. ^ David Lyons, Forms and Limits of Utilitarianism, 1965.
  9. ^ Allen Habib (2008), "Promises", in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  10. ^ Karl R.Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies, London 1945
  11. ^ utilitarianism.com: The pinprick argument
  12. ^ Fabian Fricke - Verschiedene Versionen des negativen Utilitarismus
  13. ^ Open Directory - Negative Utilitarianism
  14. ^ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: The Repugnant Conclusion Authors: Jesper Ryberg, Torbjörn Tännsjö, Gustaf Arrhenius
  15. ^ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Repugnant Conclusion
  16. ^ Shaw, William H. Contemporary Ethics: taking account of utilitarianism. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Inc., 1999. pp. 31-35
  17. ^ Rawls, John A Theory Of Justice. Harvard University Press, 1971. pp. 22-27
  18. ^ Ryder, Richard D. Painism: A Modern Morality. Centaur Press, 2001. pp. 27-29
  19. ^ Dennett, Daniel (1995), Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-82471-X.
  20. ^ Anthony Kenny What I Believe p75–80
  21. ^ NASA: WMAP's Universe - Is the Universe Infinite?, Foundations of Big Bang Cosmology
  22. ^ a b c Nick Bostrom - The infinitarian challenge to aggregative ethics (2008)
  23. ^ Argument to Act Utilitarianism “infiniarian paralysis”, retrieved 29 Dec 2009
  24. ^ millongenerations
  25. ^ The Universe Might Last Forever, Astronomers Say, but Life Might Not, New York Times, Jan 1, 2002, Ultimate fate of the universe, Rüdiger Vaas: DARK ENERGY AND LIFE’S ULTIMATE FUTURE, arXiv:physics/0703183v1
  26. ^ Das Kapital Volume I Chapter 24 endnote 50

References and further reading

.
  • Cornman, James, et al.^ Cornman, James, et al.
    • Utilitarianism.eu 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitarianism.eu [Source type: Original source]
    • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

    .Philosophical Problems and Arguments - An Introduction, 4th edition Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Co., 1992.
  • Harwood, Sterling, "Eleven Objections to Utilitarianism," in Louis P. Pojman, ed., Moral Philosophy: A Reader, Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Co., 2003), and in Sterling Harwood, ed., Business as Ethical and Business as Usual, Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1996, Chapter 7.
  • Lyons, David, "Forms and Limits of Utilitarianism". Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965.
  • Martin, Michael, "A Utilitarian Kantian Principle," Philosophical Studies, (with H. Ruf), 21, 1970, pp. 90–91.
  • Rosen, Frederick (2003).^ Brad Hooker, ed., Rationality, Rules, and Utility: New Essays on the Moral Philosophy of Richard Brandt .
    • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

    ^ David Lyons, Rights, Welfare, and Mills Moral Theory and Necip Fikri Alican, Mills Principle of Utility: a Defense of John Stuart Mills Notorious Proof G.W. SMITH .
    • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

    ^ David Lyons, Moral Aspects of Legal Theory: Essays on Law, Justice and Political Responsibility .
    • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

    Classical Utilitarianism from Hume to Mill. Routledge, p. 28. ISBN 0-415-22094-7
  • Silverstein, Harry S. A Defence of Cornman’s Utilitarian Kantian Principle, Philosophical Studies (Dordrecht u.a.) 23, 212–215. 1972
  • Singer, Peter. The Expanding Circle: Ethics and Sociobiology, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1981. [ISBN 0-374-15112-1]
  • Singer, Peter. .Practical Ethics, 2nd edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. [ISBN 0-521-43971-X]
  • Stokes, Eric.^ Cambridge University Press Last updated: October 2009 design by oxogen .
    • Utilitas - Journal contents: Vol.1 No.1 to current issue 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitas.org.uk [Source type: Academic]

    The English Utilitarians and India, Clarendon Press, 1963. [ASIN B0026QQ5GE]
  • Sumner, L. Wayne, Abortion: A Third Way, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Quotes about utilitarianism

Sourced

.
  • Some forms of suffering are so horrific that a few patients may have to die against their preferences so that others will not have to undergo years of unremitting psychological agony.^ Agents and patients may be harmed or benefited and have a welfare in that their experiential life fares well or ill for them, independent of the utility that they have for others or the interest that others have in them.
    • Between the Species - Animal Rights Theory and Utilitarianism: RelativeNormative Guidance - Francione 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC cla.calpoly.edu [Source type: Original source]

    ^ Regan stresses that there is no nonarbitrary way to separate moral agents from moral patients, and that there is no way to differentiate human moral patients from nonhuman moral patients without relying on some form of speciesism.
    • Between the Species - Animal Rights Theory and Utilitarianism: RelativeNormative Guidance - Francione 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC cla.calpoly.edu [Source type: Original source]

    ^ To minimize the potential suffering they would otherwise cause others, some form of governing authority will be needed to prevent wrong behavior among those who cannot or will not control themselves.
    • Ebon Musings: The Ineffable Carrot and the Infinite Stick 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.ebonmusings.org [Source type: Original source]

  • By utility is meant that property is any object, whereby it tends to produce benefit, advantage, pleasure, good, or happiness(all this in the present case come to the same thing) or (what comes again to the same thing) to prevent the happening of mischief, pain, evil or unhappiness to the party who whose is considered: if that party be the community in general, then the happiness of the community; if a particular individual; then the happiness of that individual
    • Jeremy Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, 1798.
  • Perfect the Will, the Mind, Feeling, their corporeal organs and their material tools; be useful to yourselves, to your own ones, and to others; and Happiness, insofar as it exists on this earth, will come of itself.^ The principle of utility was no discovery of Bentham.
    • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

    ^ The same want for happiness is then transferred to the community.
    • utilitarianism@Everything2.com 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.everything2.com [Source type: Original source]

    ^ Mill, like his influence Jeremy Bentham , equated goodness and happiness with pleasure, and badness and unhappiness with pain.
    • utilitarianism@Everything2.com 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.everything2.com [Source type: Original source]

  • It's the flock, the grove, that matters. .Our responsibility is to species, not to specimens; to communities, not to individuals.^ He is also aware that the beneficiary of our actions could be an individual or the community at large.
    • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.uri.edu [Source type: Original source]

    • Sara Stein, Noah's Garden, 1998.

External links

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.Utilitarian theories of ethics judge an action by its consequences; an action is right, or duty, if it brings about the best balance of intrinsic good over intrinsic bad.^ Right actions are, simply, those that have the best consequences.
  • Philosophy 307- Contemporary Moral Issues and Ethical Perspectives 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.longwood.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ This teleological theory looks to the consequences of actions.
  • m1cvf.co.uk - Bentham: Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.m1cvf.co.uk [Source type: Original source]

^ The utilitarian ethical theory is founded on the ability to predict the consequences of an action.
  • Principles and Theories 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.bio.davidson.edu [Source type: Original source]

.Thus, utilitarians place an emphasis on the consequences of our actions or policies.^ That’s how we are w/r/t our knowledge of the consequences of our actions.
  • Utilitarianism and Moral Skepticism « Show-Me the Argument 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC philosophy.missouri.edu [Source type: General]

^ Thus, utilitarians emphasize the consequences of the actions.
  • Britney Spears & Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC goinside.com [Source type: General]

^ Mill criticises categorical imperative, stating that it is essentially the same as utilitarianism, since it involves calculating the good or bad consequences of an action to determine the morality of that action.
  • Introduction to Utilitarianism 20 September 2009 5:59 UTC www.victorianweb.org [Source type: Original source]

.Jeremy Bentham formulates this in his famous "Principle of Utility."^ The principle of utility was no discovery of Bentham.
  • Utilitarianism.eu 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitarianism.eu [Source type: Original source]
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC pustakalaya.olenepal.org [Source type: Original source]
  • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

^ For instance, the original formulation by Jeremy Bentham identified utility in terms of maximising pleasure and minimising pain, whereas Singer's version identifies the goal as a more general satisfaction of interests, whether they are hedonistic or otherwise.
  • PHILOSOPHY - Utilitarianism isn't as fair as it initially seems 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC revisewise.debatewise.com [Source type: Original source]

^ While reviewing the literature of mathematical methods in utilitarian ethics, I came across a summary of perhaps the original utilitarian calculus, formulated by Jeremy Bentham.
  • Utilitarian calculus (Ethan Kennerly) 20 September 2009 5:59 UTC interactive.usc.edu [Source type: General]

.Utilitarianism is a well-known example of a branch of ethics known as consequentialism, which states that actions are morally judged by the impartially reckoned value of the consequences.^ Consequentialism = the view that the moral value of an act should be judged by its results (consequences).
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.uri.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ The best known version of consequentialism is utilitarianism .
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC webs.wofford.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Or need we only judge the morality of an action by the consequences we can foresee?
  • Does utilitarianism make unrealistic demands on our limited capacity forknowledge 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.princeton.edu [Source type: Original source]

.That which is good or bad differs between different types of utilitarianism, hedonistic utilitarianism and preference-respecting utilitarianism being the most noteworthy.^ Utilitarianism :  Extensive discussion of the different types of Utilitarianism.
  • Glossary 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.mhhe.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ What is the difference between utilitarianism and egoism?
  • Utilitarianism Discussion Questions 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC philosophy.wisc.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ What is the difference between act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism?

History of utilitarianism

.Utilitarianism was founded by Jeremy Bentham and further developed by his disciple, John Stuart Mill.^ John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism , 1861.

^ James Mill's greatest contribution to the development of utilitarianism appears to have been his son, John Stuart Mill.

^ Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill's point of utilitarianism seems reasonable.
  • 730_105_03: Utilitarianism I 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.livejournal.com [Source type: Original source]

.Bentham was most interested in the ramifications that a utilitarian ethics would have for the law, and he developed a precise system for correlating a crime's detrimental effect on utility to the severity of its punishment.^ But if we punish more severely, we would also lose some utility.
  • Richard Brandt: A Utilitarian Theory of Punishment plus notes on Lewis 20 September 2009 5:59 UTC stairs.umd.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Utilitarian ethics: Jeremy Bentham Utilitarian ethics: Jeremy Bentham .
  • Utilitarian ethics: Jeremy Bentham 20 September 2009 5:59 UTC www.publicbookshelf.com [Source type: Original source]

^ He proposed the utilitarian framework for developing ethics.
  • John Hufnagel - Industrial Fan Engineer - Software Developer 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC johnhufnagel.com [Source type: Original source]

.Mill explored utilitarianism from a more broadly philosophical perspective, and defended it from the critiques of opposing ethicists.^ What does Utilitarianism mean, from a philosophical perspective?
  • Literature: What does Utilitarianism mean, from a philosophical perspective? - CliffsNotes 20 September 2009 5:59 UTC www.cliffsnotes.com [Source type: Original source]
  • Literature: What does Utilitarianism mean, from a philosophical perspective? - CliffsNotes 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.cliffsnotes.com [Source type: General]

^ PHIL 464: Utilitarianism and Its Critics David Ozar The term "utilitarianism" is used in a number of different ways by moral theorists and the term "utilitarian" is used even more broadly in ordinary speech.
  • Loyola University Chicago- PHIL 464: Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.luc.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ For modern philosophers following Descartes or Locke , the understanding is the intellectual faculty considered more broadly or generally.
  • Philosophical Dictionary: Ubermensch-Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.philosophypages.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Mill did this by taking Bentham's dictum that what was important was the precise amount of happiness and adding a factor of quality, where quality is determined by "competent judges" who are capable of fully enjoying the given pleasure.^ In London James Mill became a friend and disciple of Jeremy Bentham and fully supported his ideas on utilitarianism.

^ Classical utilitarians such as Jeremy Bentham (1782-1832) and John Stuart Mill (1806-73) argued that the proper moral criterion was happiness, and that happiness can be understood as the presence of pleasure and the absence of pain.

^ I cannot count my own happiness as any more important as anyone else's, since happiness is fully and objectively valuable to everyone.
  • Philosophy 102 - Problems with Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.miracosta.cc.ca.us [Source type: Original source]

.More then this, however, Mill suggested that some happiness was of such a high quality that any amount of it would be preferable to any amount of a happiness which was of a lesser quality.^ However, advocates of the utilitarian principle (including Mill) were quick to suggest that the ultimate aim of negative utilitarianism would be to engender the quickest and least painful method of killing the entirety of humanity, as this ultimately would effectively minimize pain.
  • Ethics Text page 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC pirate.shu.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Or is charitableness more variable, such that small amounts of charity might snowball into bigger amounts of charity that wouldn't have otherwise occurred?
  • Felicifia Online utilitarianism community 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC felicifia.com [Source type: General]

^ I mean, is it possible that Germany (and the vast majority of Germans) would have been a happier and more prosperous without Jews around?
  • The limits of utilitarianism - Code Monkey Ramblings 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.codemonkeyramblings.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.This thesis is controversial, partially because it is patronizing, but primarily because Mill's reasoning behind introducing it -- that there are some happinesses which are of such a high quality that a well informed and independent jury would always choose some of that happiness over any amount of another -- is far from rigorous and might simply not be the case.^ That’s one reason I will always register as an independent.
  • Elizabeth Edwards puts American moral utilitarianism on display 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC frjody.com [Source type: General]

^ Mill & Bentham’s reasoning that we should favour happiness because we do tend to favour happiness.
  • Episode 9: Utilitarian Ethics: What Should We Do? | The Partially Examined Life | A Philosophy Podcast 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.partiallyexaminedlife.com [Source type: Original source]

^ So far, Mill might agree.
  • http://brindedcow.umd.edu/140/rachels.html 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC brindedcow.umd.edu [Source type: Original source]

.Another 19th Century Philosopher, Henry Sidgwick, re-interpreted utilitarianism along lines which are more commonly used today.^ Late 19th- and 20th-century Utilitarianism .

^ Late 19th- and 20th-century Utilitarianism.
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC cyberspacei.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The ideal utilitarian thus thinks that hedonistic utilitarianism, though along the right lines, is too simplistic.

.He found that the classification of utility as happiness was clumsy and so began to talk about utility as a measure of desire and satisfaction.^ Utilitarians talk about maximising utility.
  • Sydney Grammar School - Philosophy Club 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.sydgram.nsw.edu.au [Source type: Original source]

^ Later, after realizing that the formulation recognized two different and potentially conflicting principles, he dropped the second part and talked simply about "the greatest happiness principle".
  • Ethics Text page 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC pirate.shu.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ The term “utility” is usually defined simply as happiness, but also includes the satisfaction of desires, fulfilling of preferences and experiencing of pleasure.
  • Sydney Grammar School - Philosophy Club 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.sydgram.nsw.edu.au [Source type: Original source]

.Thus, something would be good on utilitarian grounds if it satisfied the desires of many people, and bad if it did not, or if it went against their desires.^ For example euthanasia, is something which many people are against and is found inmoral.
  • 730_105_03: Utilitarianism I 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.livejournal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Of course, many people disagree with utilitarianism.
  • utilitarian.org faq 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitarian.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Babies can tell good people from bad .

Two branches of utilitarianism that are still recognized today eventually developed:
.Act utilitarianism, or AU, states that if an agent is faced with a moral decision, it is morally obligatory to make the choice that brings the highest total pleasure to everyone affected.^ Does this make him an Act Utilitarian?
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.rsrevision.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Act Utilitarianism: This principle should be applied in every moral decision.
  • Problems with Act Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC home.sandiego.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ In the end, utilitarianism does not help in making the moral decision.
  • Politics: Mill's Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.cyberessays.com [Source type: Original source]
  • Free-ResearchPapers.com - Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.free-researchpapers.com [Source type: Original source]

.Rule utilitarianism, or RU, states that it is morally obligatory for everyone to act in accordance with the set of moral rules such that if everyone acts in accordance with this set of rules, more pleasure is produced than if everyone acts in accordance with any other set of moral rules.^ Utilitarianism has no universal set of rules on to which morality is based.
  • Essay Depot - Kant and Mill's Theories 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.essaydepot.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Utilitarianism: an action is morally right if the consequences of that action are more favorable than unfavorable to everyone .
  • Ethics [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Rule utilitarianism is a more radical departure.

Utilitarianism today

.Peter Singer is a contemporary philosopher whose basic approach to ethics is utilitarian.^ Peter singer utilitarianism?
  • WikiAnswers - What is an example of utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC wiki.answers.com [Source type: General]

^ Peter Singer is a utilitarian.
  • Daylight Atheism > The Roots of Morality III: Universal Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.daylightatheism.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Peter Singer's utilitarianism .
  • Peter Singer's utilitarianism - 20 April 2002 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.newsweekly.com.au [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Criticism

Professor James Rachels critiqued the philosophy of utilitarianism, mainly by attacking the following points:
  1. Actions are judged to be right or wrong only on the basis of their consequences
  2. The only consequence that matters is whether happiness or unhappiness results
  3. No one's happiness is more or less important than another's- each are equally important
.The first flaw that Rachels identified with Utilitarianism was making happiness the goal that we seek out in our endeavors.^ Figure out what will make them happy.
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.uri.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ First, that happiness is the ultimate goal of humanity.
  • utilitarianism@Everything2.com 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.everything2.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Utilitarianism or the flaws I tried to point out?
  • The Flaws of Utilitarianism (the greatest good for the greatest #) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC philosophy.lander.edu [Source type: Original source]

.While this may be attractive in principle, Rachels claims that it is very flawed in practice.^ When the hedonistic principle of utility is applied in practice, it is difficult to decide nor only between competing claims of human communities, but also between different species.
  • Utilitarianism examined 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC web.rollins.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ This highlights the possibility, however, that in applying a principle which places demands far above our abilities and knowledge, we may make very wrong choices indeed.
  • Does utilitarianism make unrealistic demands on our limited capacity forknowledge 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.princeton.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Those who claim that the right can be derived from the good, and take this to mean that the principle of the right can be derived from principles of the good mistake the derivation of right actions, once the principle of the right is given, for the derivation of the very principle of the right, i.
  • Distributive Justice and Welfarism in Utilitarianism (Jörg Schroth) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.joergschroth.de [Source type: Original source]

.An example proving this is if a friend bad-mouths somebody behind their back, Utilitarianism will claim that it is a moral action, because the person is not aware; Ergo, it did not cause them any harm.^ If the good outweighs the bad, then the action is moral.
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.inplainsite.org [Source type: Original source]
  • Utilitarianism: The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number-Probe Ministries 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.probe.org [Source type: Original source]
  • Utilitarianism: The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number « 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC whatandwhy.wordpress.com [Source type: Original source]

^ When is a person morally responsible for his actions?
  • Online Library of Liberty - Ethics in the 20th Century: A Bibliographical Essay by John Hospers 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Utilitarianism Arguments Utilitarianism is an attractive philosophy which claims to replace arbitraryseeming rules by a morality with a single coherent basis.
  • Utilitarianism Essay 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.exampleessays.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Rachels suggests that one should not seek out friends in order to make him or herself happy.^ No one is advocating that we should actively seek out pain.
  • What is utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.gotquestions.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Figure out what will make them happy.
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.uri.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Let us assume that if Bob lives out his days he will live a typically good life, one that is pleasant to Bob and also brings happiness to his friends and family.

.Instead, happiness should be a response to what one has achieved or obtained.^ Instead, Aristotle believed that happiness is achieved in the development of character that comes from the deliberate practice of reason engaged with concepts of virtue, as determined by the rule of the mean.
  • Phil 103 Notes: Mill 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www4.hmc.edu:8001 [Source type: Original source]

^ One might think that utilitarianism, in holding that people should only do that action that produces the most happiness, provides too high a standard for human actions.
  • STUDY QUESTIONS: MILL'S UTILITARIANISM 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC web.missouri.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ If one does not have enough food to do both, then one should determine whether general happiness would be better served by feeding my neighbour, or feeding oneself.
  • Introduction to Utilitarianism 20 September 2009 5:59 UTC www.victorianweb.org [Source type: Original source]

.Another point that Rachels makes is regarding the dogma of only considering the consequence of an action important, rather than the action itself.^ I regard this as a point in favor of this system, rather than against it.
  • Ebon Musings: The Ineffable Carrot and the Infinite Stick 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.ebonmusings.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Putting it another way, consider only those individuals who already exist (this can be expanded to a prior-existence + “existence anyway” restriction, enabling us to count those who will exist irrespective of your own actions, e.g.
  • Utilitarianism, “total-view” thinking, and human life extension 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ieet.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Rather than ponderously calculating the act utilitarian effects of our every action, we can work on the basis of secondary principles, reliably based on the experience of mankind over the ages, only resorting to our ultimate principle of utility in situations of conflict.
  • Does utilitarianism make unrealistic demands on our limited capacity forknowledge 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.princeton.edu [Source type: Original source]

.For example, if a police officer is accused of abusing somebody based on their race, clearly the best solution according to utilitarianism would be to find the officer guilty, and punish them severely, as this will cause the greatest number of people to achieve happiness.^ And that law was the best which brought the greatest happiness to the largest number of people.
  • Chapter Four, Utilitarianism, Laissez Faire and Individualism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.weisbord.org [Source type: Original source]

^ The goal of utilitarian ethics is to promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number .
  • Utilitarianism Definition | Definition of Utilitarianism at Dictionary.com 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC dictionary.reference.com [Source type: General]

^ Utilitarianism is sometimes summarized as "The greatest happiness for the greatest number."
  • Ethics Text page 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC pirate.shu.edu [Source type: Original source]

.Rachels would refute this by saying that this is not moral, since although more people are happy, one person was ruined without receiving fair representation.^ People can do without happiness.
  • OUTLINE OF SOME CLASSIC CRITICISMS OF UTILITARIANISM 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.class.uidaho.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Rachels) Rachels says "The view that happiness is the one ultimate good .
  • The Debate Over Utilitarianism Chapt. 8 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.wutsamada.com [Source type: Original source]

^ One person's happiness is another person's misery.
  • m1cvf.co.uk - Bentham: Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.m1cvf.co.uk [Source type: Original source]

.Rachels would claim that they should receive a just trial, and be prosecuted according to the law.^ It’s just to say that this is what they would scream.
  • Utilitarianism and the original position 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC carneades.pomona.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ I'd suggest that those people should actually drop the label utilitarian and just incorporate utilitarian elements into their chosen moral system as they see fit.
  • Rule Utilitarianism is the best form of Utilitarianism@Everything2.com 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC everything2.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Did this mean that they should let it lie fallow every seventh year, as the law enjoined?
  • New Statesman - Nonsense upon stilts. Animals are the last great "victim class". Edward Skidelsky finds the arguments for animal rights sentimental, self-serving and intellectually unsound 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.newstatesman.com [Source type: Original source]

.Another example is if there is a person who has hidden cameras in the washroom, utilitarianism would claim that this is morally right, due to the fact that he didn't cause anybody unhappiness, and increased the happiness of himself.^ A would cause an excess of happiness but B would cause an excess of unhappiness.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

^ A would cause an excess of unhappiness but B would cause an excess of neither.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

^ A would cause an excess of neither but B would cause an excess of unhappiness.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

.Rachels would deny this, and claim that his actions were immoral.^ Competitor(s) would find a way to enter the market in order to claim “a piece of the action.” • Consumers would attempt, and finally discover alternatives.
  • Free Market Utilitarianism : Nifty-Stuff.com 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.nifty-stuff.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ More importantly, any claims that Hitler's actions would have increased the total happiness of humanity are simply wrong .
  • Daylight Atheism > The Roots of Morality III: Universal Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.daylightatheism.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Utilitarians are theoretically committed to the claim that, in such unlikely circumstances, the apparently immoral action is the proper action.

.Rachels also attacks the Utilitarianist argument that everybody is equal, and your own happiness is no more important than anybody else's.^ Your pleasures count for no more, and no less, than anyone else's.
  • Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ethics.iit.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Your theory succeeds if it can describe the molecules in motion, but is no more important than that.
  • Common Sense Atheism » What Is Morality? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC commonsenseatheism.com [Source type: Original source]

^ In calculating utility your own happiness doesn't count more than the happiness of anyone else.

.He claims that this is completely impractical, as one can usually increase the happiness of somebody else whenever they buy something.^ They have claimed that in those African nations that have traded a whites-only government for a black or mixed one, social conditions have rapidly deteriorated.
  • Utilitarian Ethics 20 September 2009 5:59 UTC www.scu.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Yes, lots of people will lose jobs, but they can get new ones in newer industries like green tech or something, go back to school, etc.
  • Talking Philosophy | Utilitarianism & Bailing Out the Big Three 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC blog.talkingphilosophy.com [Source type: General]

^ On one hand, helping the needy would increase the overall world happiness, but on the other hand, most people would have to completely deprive themselves in order to make much of a difference.
  • Utilitarianism vs. Kant | The Sophist 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.thesophist.com [Source type: Original source]

For example, if one has $20 that they can either spend on new shoes, or they can donate it to help the poor, obviously donating it will help more people (i.e. in Africa), but is it reasonable to sacrifice the happiness of yourself and your loved ones in order to help complete strangers? Rachels would claim that it is not.
.Other often cited criticisms of utilitarianism are that the philosophy doesn't take into account a person's intention.^ And that doesn’t even take into account deserts.
  • Everyday Utilitarianism: Who Gets the TV First? (Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.aaronsw.com [Source type: General]

^ Utilitarian criticism of other schools .
  • Ethics Text page 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC pirate.shu.edu [Source type: Original source]
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.martinfrost.ws [Source type: Original source]
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC pustakalaya.olenepal.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Do not take distance and proximity into account.
  • Episode 9: Utilitarian Ethics: What Should We Do? | The Partially Examined Life | A Philosophy Podcast 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.partiallyexaminedlife.com [Source type: Original source]

.Did a person that took an action intending to maximize happiness do something immoral if the action ends up decreasing happiness?^ Even though punishment decreases the happiness of the person being punished (by depriving him of rights, money, time, etc.

^ Actions are right in proportion to their tendency to produce happiness We cannot prove that happiness is the ultimate end of human action But we can provide rational grounds for accepting that happiness is such an end Mill begins with examples designed to clear up misconceptions .
  • Mill's Utilitarianism, UC Davis Philosophy 1, G. J. Mattey 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC hume.ucdavis.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Utility is pleasure and absence of pain It is not what is merely useful Pleasure and the absence of pain is happiness Human pleasure is not that of a swine, so the end of human action is not the pleasure of a swine Human pleasure includes pleasures of The intellect Feelings and imagination Moral sentiments .
  • Mill's Utilitarianism, UC Davis Philosophy 1, G. J. Mattey 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC hume.ucdavis.edu [Source type: Original source]

.If four people need an organ transplant to live, would it be a moral act to kill one person against his will and transplant his organs into those people so that they will live?^ Would it be morally right for the doctor to kill one healthy person and split up his organs among the five to save all of their lives?
  • Daylight Atheism > The Roots of Morality III: Universal Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.daylightatheism.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Another example - why not dismember one person so that several other people in need of organ transplants can live?
  • Everyday Utilitarianism: Who Gets the TV First? (Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.aaronsw.com [Source type: General]

^ Paying indispensable people like DA’s more than they receive now would be one obvious and inevitable outcome of the proposed policy, and it’s not clear that on balance the net effect would be for more or fewer DA’s.
  • Matthew Yglesias » Height Taxes and Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC yglesias.thinkprogress.org [Source type: Original source]

.If Utilitarianism states that any action that maximizes happiness is good, then killing one person against his will in order to save others would be a moral act.^ When one maximizes the good, it is the good impartially considered.
  • The History of Utilitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Act utilitarianism states that the best act is whichever act would yield the most happiness.
  • Ethics Text page 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC pirate.shu.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Call one action A and the other B. (1) Both A and B would cause an excess of happiness.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]


Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

(Lat. utilis, useful).
.Utilitarianism is a modern form of the Hedonistic ethical theory which teaches that the end of human conduct is happiness, and that consequently the discriminating norm which distinguishes conduct into right and wrong is pleasure and pain.^ Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that calls for putting benevolence into action.

^ Theories of Ends or Consequences Good in themselves .
  • Philosophy 307- Contemporary Moral Issues and Ethical Perspectives 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.longwood.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Utilitarianism (with Bentham and Mill) is a hedonistic theory of morality: happiness is defined in terms of pleasure .

In the words of one of its most distinguished advocates, John Stuart Mill,
.
the creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, utility or the greatest happiness principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.^ The principle of utilitythat actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happinesswas the centerpiece of his ethical philosophy.
  • Mill, John Stuart -- a. Overview [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Utilitarianism Chapter 2 The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.
  • 730_105_03: Utilitarianism I 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.livejournal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Or, in John Stewart Mill's words: "The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness."
  • An Essay On Philosophy by blupete. 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.blupete.com [Source type: Original source]

By happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain and the privation of pleasure (Utilitarianism, ii, 1863).
.Although the term Utilitarianism did not come into vogue until it had been adopted by Bentham, and until the essential tenets of the system had already been advocated by many English philosophers, it may be said that, with the important exception of Helvetius (De l'esprit, 1758), from whom Bentham seems to have borrowed, all the champions of this system have been English.^ If a "one size fits all approach" suits your temperament, then buy into utilitarianism.
  • Daylight Atheism > The Roots of Morality III: Universal Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.daylightatheism.org [Source type: Original source]

^ I learned, from Dr. Levy, of a family of moral philosopher that fell under the general name “Utilitarian.” I learned that utilitarians seek “the greatest good for the greatest number” (an oversimplified clich of utilitarianism that goes back to the early 19th century English philosopher Jeremy Bentham).

^ In terms of his place in the history of utilitarianism we should note two distinct effects his system had.
  • The History of Utilitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

.The favour which it has enjoyed in English speculation may be ascribed in a great measure to the dominance of Locke's teaching, that all our ideas are derived exclusively from sense experience.^ An arm or a leg, for example, may have no value at all separated from the body, but have a great deal of value attached to the body, and increase the value of the body, even.
  • The History of Utilitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Empiricism (expounded by Hobbes , Hume , Locke ) denied the existence of innate ideas altogether, maintaining that all knowledge comes from human experience.
  • An Essay On Philosophy by blupete. 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.blupete.com [Source type: Original source]

^ He consequently derives a great deal of enjoyment, whereas she, all unawares, is completely unaffected .
  • utilitarianism@Everything2.com 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.everything2.com [Source type: Original source]

.This epistemological doctrine, hostile to all shades of intentionalism, finds its ethical complement in the theory that our moral ideas of right and wrong, our moral judgments, and conscience itself are derived originally from the experienced results of actions.^ If not, then this suggests that the wrongness is all in our mind.

^ The rightness of an action is a function of its results or outcome.
  • Distributive Justice and Welfarism in Utilitarianism (Jörg Schroth) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.joergschroth.de [Source type: Original source]

^ Theories of conscience have ascribed the moral awareness of right and wrong to divine will; to an innate sense (e.g.
  • An Essay On Philosophy by blupete. 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.blupete.com [Source type: Original source]

.Tracing the stream of Utilitarian thought from its sources, we may start with Hobbes (Leviathan, 1651), whose fundamental ethical axiom is that right conduct is that which promotes our own welfare; and the social code of morals depends for its justification on whether or not it serves the wellbeing of those who observe it.^ Once this is recognized, supporters argue that utilitarianism becomes a much more complex, and rich, moral theory, and may align much more closely with our moral intuitions.
  • Utilitarianism.eu 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utilitarianism.eu [Source type: Original source]
  • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Students who use our service are responsible not only for writing their own papers, but also for citing The Paper Store as a source when doing so.
  • Essays On Utilitarianism, Deontology And Abortion 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.essayfind.com [Source type: Academic]

^ Panels on ethics and moral philosophy explore recent contributions and debates within contemporary utilitarianism; the leading critiques and varieties of utilitarianism; forms and limits of consequentialism; and utilitarianism in relation to theories of rights, justice, welfare and equality.
  • Kadish Center Conference�ISUS 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.law.berkeley.edu [Source type: Academic]

.A Protestant divine, Richard Cumberland (De legibus naturæ, 1672), engaged in the refutation of Hobbes's doctrine, that morality depends on civil enactment, sought to show that the greatest happiness principle is a law of the Gospel and a law of nature: "The greatest possible benevolence of every rational agent towards all the rest constitutes the happiest state of each and all.^ Again, these rights exist not for mystical or supernatural reasons, but because they are the principles that, when enshrined into law and consistently obeyed, create a society that guarantees the best chance of peace, security and happiness to all of its members.
  • Daylight Atheism > The Roots of Morality III: Universal Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.daylightatheism.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Or, in John Stewart Mill's words: "The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness."
  • An Essay On Philosophy by blupete. 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.blupete.com [Source type: Original source]

^ And that law was the best which brought the greatest happiness to the largest number of people.
  • Chapter Four, Utilitarianism, Laissez Faire and Individualism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.weisbord.org [Source type: Original source]

Accordingly common good will be the supreme law." This view was further developed by some other theologians of whom the last and most conspicuous was Paley (Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, 1785), who reasoned that since God wills the happiness of all men it follows that if we would conform our conduct to God's will we must act so as to promote the common happiness; and virtue consists in doing good to all mankind in obedience to the will of God and for the sake of everlasting happiness. .Moral obligation he conceived to be the pressure of the Divine will upon our wills urging us to right action.^ These include the rights of animals, the morality of animal experimentation, preserving endangered species, pollution control, management of environmental resources, whether eco-systems are entitled to direct moral consideration, and our obligation to future generations.
  • Ethics [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ But on Bentham's view the action (or trait) is morally good, right, virtuous in view of the consequences it generates, the pleasure or utility it produces, which could be completely independent of what our responses are to the trait.
  • The History of Utilitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ It is common for us to determine our moral responsibility by weighing the consequences of our actions.
  • Ethics [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]

.More in harmony with the spirit of the later Utilitarians was Hume, the slightest of whose preoccupations was to find any religious source or sanction of morality.^ Mill does not mention whether someone need ever reckon whether to violate a rule whose general observance and enforcement would cause more happiness, but which is not also generally observed and enforced by moral sanctions.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Utilitarianism :       a) David Hume agreed with Hobbes that moral judgments were ultimately based on our feelings and were not reflective of some objective moral           facts about the world, as we find in natural law ethics.
  • Nietzsche and the Objectivity of Morals 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.uab.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Mill would diverge from Bentham in developing the ‘altruistic’ approach to Utilitarianism (which is actually a misnomer, but more on that later).
  • The History of Utilitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

.In his Inquiry concerning the Principles of Morals (1751) he carried out an extensive analysis of the various judgments which we pass upon our own character and conduct and on those of others; and from this study drew the conclusion that virtue and personal merit consist in those qualities which are useful to ourselves and others.^ Addressing each person means that the moral principles .
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Though our own character is formed by circumstances, among those circumstances are our own desires.
  • Mill, John Stuart -- a. Overview [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]
  • Mill, John Stuart [The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.iep.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ In moral evaluation the main concern is that of character.
  • The History of Utilitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

.In the course of his speculation he encounters the question which is the irremovable stumbling block in the path of the Utilitarian theorist: How is the motive of self-interest to be reconciled with the motive of benevolence; if every man necessarily pursues his own happiness, how can the happiness of all be the end of conduct?^ If this is the goal of happiness, of course we will end up with utilitarianism!
  • Daylight Atheism > The Roots of Morality III: Universal Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.daylightatheism.org [Source type: Original source]

^ By the Principle of Utility is meant that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever, according to the tendency which it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question; or what is the same thing in other words, to promote or to oppose that happiness.
  • Philosophy 307- Contemporary Moral Issues and Ethical Perspectives 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.longwood.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Motive utilitarianism proposes that our initial moral task be to inculcate motives within ourselves that will be generally useful across the spectrum of the situations we are likely to encounter.

.Unlike the later thinkers of this school, Hume did not discuss or attempt systematically to solve the difficulty; he dismissed it by resting on the assumption that benevolence is the supreme virtue.^ Thus did Bentham continue the Utilitarian school of Hume under new circumstances.
  • Chapter Four, Utilitarianism, Laissez Faire and Individualism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.weisbord.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Later, I encountered “something better.” But that did not happen until graduate school.

.In Hartley (Observations of Man, 1748) we find the first methodical effort to justify the Utilitarian principle by means of the theory of association to which so large a part in the genesis of our moral judgments is assigned by subsequent speculators, especially those of the Evolutionist party.^ Addressing each person means that the moral principles .
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The first reason is a consequence of Sumner’s approach to justifying moral theories.
  • Distributive Justice and Welfarism in Utilitarianism (Jörg Schroth) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.joergschroth.de [Source type: Original source]

^ The utilitarian theory of the good is a theory of the non-moral good.
  • Distributive Justice and Welfarism in Utilitarianism (Jörg Schroth) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.joergschroth.de [Source type: Original source]

.From sensations and the lower elementary or primary emotions, according to Hartley, result higher feelings and emotions, different in kind from the processes out of which they have arisen.^ A competent judge, according to Mill, is anyone who has experienced both the lower pleasures and the higher.
  • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

^ For Bentham, "interest" is an elementary concept that could not be logically defined since it lacks a higher genus that could be specified by adducing a species qualifying difference.
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.uri.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ He distinguished higher and lower qualities of pleasures according to the preferences of people who have experienced both kinds (Mill 1861, 56; compare Hutcheson 1755, 421-23).
  • Consequentialism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

The altruistic motives, sympathy and benevolence, are then accounted for. .With Bentham arises the group of thinkers who have appropriated the name of Utilitarians as their distinctive badge.^ Mill subsequently named his society of like minded thinkers the "Utilitarian Society", which met for three and a half years.
  • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

^ For example, Mill's utilitarianism theory could be seen as superior to Bentham's when applied to a situation which involves a group of five sadist s torturing one person.
  • utilitarianism@Everything2.com 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.everything2.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Mill subsequently named his society of likeminded thinkers the "Utilitarian Society", which met for three and a half years.

.The leaders after Bentham were the two Mills, the two Austins, and Godwin, who are also known as the Philosophic Radicals.^ Note this radical departure from Bentham who held that even malicious pleasure was intrinsically good, and that if nothing instrumentally bad attached to the pleasure, it was wholly good as well.
  • The History of Utilitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Jeremy Bentham: Act Utilitarianism The philosopher Jeremy Bentham, and John Stuart Mill after him, made one of the most significant contributions to the field of moral philosophy with their formulation of the good known as utilitarianism.
  • Ebon Musings: The Ineffable Carrot and the Infinite Stick 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.ebonmusings.org [Source type: Original source]

^ The younger Mill was seen as the crown prince of the Philosophic Radical movement and his famous education reflected the hopes of his father and Bentham.
  • Mill, John Stuart -- a. Overview [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]
  • Mill, John Stuart [The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.iep.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]

.While the members of this party devoted considerable thought to the defence and development of theoretical Utilitarianism and made it the starting-point of their political activity, they became remarkable less as philosophic speculators than as active reformers of social and economic conditions and of legislation.^ The theological approach to utilitarianism would be developed later by William Paley, for example, but the lack of any theoretical necessity in appealing to God would result in its diminishing appeal.
  • The History of Utilitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ So there we have the Kantian system of absolute duties, made absolute with no thought or consideration of the ends or consequences of the action.
  • Philosophy 307- Contemporary Moral Issues and Ethical Perspectives 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.longwood.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ One reason often given in support of (5.1) is the plausible-sounding thought that more of a good is better than less: .
  • Distributive Justice and Welfarism in Utilitarianism (Jörg Schroth) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.joergschroth.de [Source type: Original source]

The keynote of their doctrines and policy is struck by Bentham in the opening of his Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789):
.
Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure.^ He famously held that humans were ruled by two sovereign masters — pleasure and pain.
  • The History of Utilitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Bentham found pain and pleasure to be the only intrinsic values in the world: "nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure."
  • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Nature dictates through pleasure and pain.
  • utilitarianism@Everything2.com 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.everything2.com [Source type: Original source]

.It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do as well as what we shall do.^ Sidgwick points out that Mill is also not correct in maintaining that whenever it is asserted that it would be unjust for someone to do a certain thing it is implied that others ought to compel him not to do it.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

^ He points out that in saying that happiness alone is desirable for its own sake, Mill makes it clear that he means that it alone is good for its own sake.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Mill points out that all moralists recognize that it would not be wrong for someone to do a certain action unless he also ought not to do it.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

.On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of cause and effect are linked to their throne.^ Universal, in that what is right or wrong for one person is right or wrong for any other person at any time and any place; .
  • Philosophy 307- Contemporary Moral Issues and Ethical Perspectives 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.longwood.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Normative ethics takes on a more practical task, which is to arrive at moral standards that regulate right and wrong conduct.
  • Ethics [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Happiness, on the other hand, no one chooses for the sake of these, nor, in general, for anything other than itself.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

.They govern us in all we do, every effort we can make to throw off their subjection will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it.^ You can read _Officer Buckle and Gloria_ to them, and show them the pictures, and point out (on the off-chance they missed it) how the pictures make it funny.
  • FCL: Discussion -- Utilitarian View of Children's Literature 20 September 2009 5:59 UTC www.fairrosa.info [Source type: Original source]

^ Mill urges that the happiness of all is more effectively promoted by each pursuing his own happiness, subject to rules required by the good of others, than by each making the good of others his object.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Paul Gowder’s post reminds us that to demonstrate that one set of subjectivities is different from another doesn’t mean it’s right.
  • Overcoming Bias : Knowing your argumentative limitations, OR “one [rationalist's] modus ponens is another’s modus tollens.” 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.overcomingbias.com [Source type: Original source]

.In a word man may pretend to abjure their empire; but in reality he will remain subject to it all the while.^ Robin may actually believe his fighter will remain undefeated for all time (analogous to “believes his theory is true”), but all I agree with is keeping the fighter in the arena.
  • Overcoming Bias : Defending Mankiw 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.overcomingbias.com [Source type: Original source]

The principle of utility recognizes this subjection, and assumes it for the foundation of that system the object of which is to rear the fabric of felicity by the hand of reason and law.
Staunchly standing by the principle of unqualified egoism, Bentham rids himself of the task of reconciling self-interest and altruism:
Dream not that men will move their little finger to serve you, unless their advantage in doing so is obvious to them. .Men never did so and never will while human nature is made of its present materials.^ Men, however, in a state of society, are still men; their actions and passions are obedient to the laws of individual human nature.
  • Mill, John Stuart -- a. Overview [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Keeping in line with the Theory of Natural Law, the purpose of these animals was for humans to eat them, just like gazelle was made for cheetah to eat.
  • 730_105_03: Utilitarianism I 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.livejournal.com [Source type: Original source]

But they will desire to serve you when by so doing they can serve themselves, and the occasions on which they can serve themselves by serving you are multitudinous (Deontology, ii, 1834; posthumous work).
.In the hands of Bentham and his disciples Utilitarianism dissociates morality from its religious basis and, incorporating Determinism with its other tenets, becomes pronouncedly Positivistic, and moral obligation is resolved into a prejudice or a feeling resulting from a long-continued association of disagreeable consequences attending some kinds of actions, and advantages following others.^ A rule utilitarian, on the other hand, begins by looking at potential rules of action.
  • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Other disturbing consequences are the following: .
  • Negative Utilitarianism and Justice 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.socrethics.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Once this is recognized, supporters argue that utilitarianism becomes a much more complex, and rich, moral theory, and may align much more closely with our moral intuitions.
  • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

The word ought Bentham characterizes as an authoritative impostor, the talisman of arrogancy, indolence, and ignorance. .It is the condemnation of Utilitarianism that this estimate of duty is thoroughly consistent with the system; and no defender of the utility theory has been able, though some have tried, to indicate the claims of moral obligation on Positivistic Utilitarian grounds.^ The utilitarian theory of the good is a theory of the non-moral good.
  • Distributive Justice and Welfarism in Utilitarianism (Jörg Schroth) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.joergschroth.de [Source type: Original source]

^ Duty theories base morality on specific, foundational principles of obligation.
  • Ethics [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Today, though the atheist movement is gaining strength in countries around the world, and though there is no indication that atheists as a whole are any less moral than believers, this old prejudice persists.
  • Ebon Musings: The Ineffable Carrot and the Infinite Stick 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.ebonmusings.org [Source type: Original source]

.Bentham drew up a curious scheme for computing the worth or weight to be assigned to all sorts of pleasures and pains, as a practical norm to determine in the concrete the moral value of any action.^ For classical utilitarians, such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, pleasure alone was intrinsically valuable and pain alone was intrinsically not valuable.
  • Between the Species - Animal Rights Theory and Utilitarianism: RelativeNormative Guidance - Francione 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC cla.calpoly.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Second, Bentham's view that there were no qualitative differences in pleasures also left him open to the complaint that on his view human pleasures were of no more value than animal pleasures and, third, committed him to the corollary that the moral status of animals, tied to their sentience, was the same as that of humans.
  • The History of Utilitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ But these supplementary explanations do not affect the theory of life on which this theory of morality is grounded- namely, that pleasure, and freedom from pain, are the only things desirable as ends; and that all desirable things (which are as numerous in the utilitarian as in any other scheme) are desirable either for the pleasure inherent in themselves, or as means to the promotion of pleasure and the prevention of pain.
  • 730_105_03: Utilitarianism I 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.livejournal.com [Source type: Original source]

.He assumes that all pleasures are alike in kind and differ only in quantity, that is in intensity, certainty, duration, etc.^ Newer, moderate versions of NU do not attempt to minimize all kinds of suffering but only those kinds that are created by the frustration of preferences.
  • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

^ His complete list is the following: intensity, duration, certainty or uncertainty, propinquity or remoteness, fecundity, purity, and extent.
  • The History of Utilitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ It would be absurd that while, in estimating all other things, quality is considered as well as quantity, the estimation of pleasures should be supposed to depend on quantity alone.
  • 730_105_03: Utilitarianism I 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.livejournal.com [Source type: Original source]

.His psychological analysis, besides the original defect of making self-interest the sole motive of human action, contains many errors.^ This theory is far from that of psychological egoism that says that every human action is motivated by self interest.
  • 730_105_03: Utilitarianism I 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.livejournal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ This view is called psychological egoism and maintains that self-oriented interests ultimately motivate all human actions.
  • Ethics [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Psychological egoism, the theory that human beings are all necessarily motivated exclusively by self-interest (if a person does something for another it is only because it makes him feel better to do it than not to do it), is often assumed to be true in psychology, but has been exposed as riddled with logical and methodological errors by philosophers.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Ethics in the 20th Century: A Bibliographical Essay by John Hospers 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

.Subsequent writers have abandoned it as worthless for the very good reason that to calculate, as its employment would demand, all the results of every action, and to strike a balance between the advantages and disadvantages attendant upon it, would require an intellect much more powerful than that with which man is endowed.^ Lest all this abstract reasoning about maximizing happiness strike any readers as chilly or overly removed from tangible human concerns, I would like in conclusion to offer a more down-to-earth description of what universal utilitarianism stands for.
  • Daylight Atheism > The Roots of Morality III: Universal Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.daylightatheism.org [Source type: Original source]

^ We have good reason to deny that our intuitions and “feelings” have the special status that the Rawlsian would give them.

^ The average utility would be higher with the contraceptive program than without it, so average utilitarianism yields the more plausible result—that the government should adopt the contraceptive program.
  • Consequentialism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

.The classic expression of the system is John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism, which endeavours to raise the Utilitarian ideal to a higher plane than that of the undisguised selfishness upon which Bentham rested it.^ Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill's point of utilitarianism seems reasonable.
  • 730_105_03: Utilitarianism I 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.livejournal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ John Stuart Mill's version of utilitarianism is rule-oriented.
  • Ethics [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Letters of John Stuart Mill, ed.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

.As the foundation of his structure Mill asserts that every man necessarily acts in order to obtain his own happiness; but finding this ground logically insufficient to furnish a basis for an adequate criterion of conduct, and prompted by his own large sympathies, he quickly endeavours to substitute "the happiness of all concerned" for "the agent's own happiness". The argument over which he, the author of a formidable work on logic, endeavours to pass from the first to the second position, may serve as an example suitable to submit to the beginner in logic when he is engaged in the detection of sophisms.^ He is a first rate second rate man."
  • Chapter Four, Utilitarianism, Laissez Faire and Individualism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.weisbord.org [Source type: Original source]

^ But to consider the rules of morality as improvable, is one thing; to pass over the intermediate generalisations entirely, and endeavour to test each individual action directly by the first principle, is another.
  • 730_105_03: Utilitarianism I 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.livejournal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Neither Bentham nor Mill paid much heed to the distinction between utility, a property of an object as perceived by an agent, and happiness, a property of the effect that the object has on the agent (see Broome 1991).
  • UCL Bentham Project 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.ucl.ac.uk [Source type: Original source]

.The argument, in brief, is that, as each one desires and pursues his own happiness, and the sum total of these individual ends makes up the general happiness, it follows that the general happiness is the one thing desirable by all and provides the Utilitarian standard of what is right in conduct.^ He argues that it is because happiness is the only thing desirable for its own sake that the test of conduct generally is its promotion of happiness.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Mill also writes, “happiness is desirable, and the only thing desirable, as end.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Only happiness is desired for its own sake.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

."As well might you argue", says Martineau, "that because of a hundred men each one's hunger is satisfied by his dinner, the hunger of all must be satisfied with the dinner of each."^ Mill's theory says that all involved must have some common ground of equality, but that equality is not possible for the pregnant woman because of her mental condition.
  • Essays On Utilitarianism, Deontology And Abortion 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.essayfind.com [Source type: Academic]

^ He here argues that the enforcement of such rules is desirable because it is necessary to maintaining relationships among men which in turn are desirable because they are a necessary condition of men achieving to any degree anything desirable.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

^ You say "But we can all agree that there are some actions that are wrong in and of themselves, and therefore, are not subject to any utilitarian calculus."
  • Environmental Economics: The Problems and Limitations of Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.env-econ.net [Source type: Original source]

.To escape some of the criticisms urged against the doctrine as stated by Bentham, who made no distinction in the various kinds of pleasure, Mill claimed that Utilitarianism notes that pleasures differ in quality as well as quantity; that in the judgment of those who have experience of different pleasures, some are preferable to others, that it is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied, better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.^ It is better for a sentient being to experience pleasure than pain .
  • UCL Bentham Project 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.ucl.ac.uk [Source type: Original source]

^ He immediately adds, “the test of quality, and the rule for measuring it against quantity, being the preference felt by those who, in their opportunities of experience .
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Mill's ‘proof’ of the claim that intellectual pleasures are better in kind than others, though, is highly suspect.
  • The History of Utilitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

.Then he slips from "preferable" to "higher", thus surreptitiously introducing a moral classification among pleasures.^ Of two pleasures, if there be one to which all or almost all who have experience of both give a decided preference, irrespective of any feeling of moral obligation to prefer it, that is the more desirable pleasure.
  • 730_105_03: Utilitarianism I 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.livejournal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ When we are evaluating whether or not an action is good by evaluating the happiness that we can expect to be produced by it, he argues that higher pleasures should be taken to be in kind (rather than by degree) preferable to lower pleasures.
  • Mill, John Stuart -- a. Overview [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]
  • Mill, John Stuart [The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.iep.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ He proffers a distinction (one not found in Bentham) between higher and lower pleasures, with higher pleasures including mental, aesthetic, and moral pleasures.
  • Mill, John Stuart -- a. Overview [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]
  • Mill, John Stuart [The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.iep.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]

.The only legitimate grounds for attaching higher and lower moral values to various pleasures, is to estimate them according to the rank of the faculties or of the kinds of action to which they belong as results.^ Example: Estimating the value of a pleasure stemming from one action for one person.
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.uri.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ When called upon to make a moral decision one measures an action's value with respect to pleasure and pain according to the following: intensity (how strong the pleasure or pain is), duration (how long it lasts), certainty (how likely the pleasure or pain is to be the result of the action), proximity (how close the sensation will be to performance of the action), fecundity (how likely it is to lead to further pleasures or pains), purity (how much intermixture there is with the other sensation).
  • The History of Utilitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ When, therefore, those feelings and judgment declare the pleasures derived from the higher faculties to be preferable in kind , apart from the question of intensity, to those of which the animal nature, disjoined from the higher faculties, is susceptible, they are entitled on this subject to the same regard.
  • UCL Bentham Project 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.ucl.ac.uk [Source type: Original source]

.But to do this is to assume some moral standard by which we can measure the right or wrong of action, independently of its pleasurable or painful consequences.^ Hence the only consequences of an action that are relevant are pleasures and pains.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

^ A. The standard of right and wrong is fashioned upon the fact that pleasure attracts while pain repels.
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.uri.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ He was using it afterwards consistently in this unrestricted sense despite the objections of many critics who have complained about the "dangerous" implications of the doctrine that something could be recommended without being supported by any independent standard of right and wrong.
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.uri.edu [Source type: Original source]

.To answer the objection that virtue is desired for its own sake, and men do right frequently without any calculation of the happiness to be derived from their action, Mill enlists the association theory; as the result of experience, actions that have been approved or condemned on account of their pleasurable or disagreeable consequences at length come to be looked upon by us as good or bad, without our actually adverting to their pleasant or painful result.^ Hence the only consequences of an action that are relevant are pleasures and pains.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

^ In support of the conclusion that only happiness is desirable for its own sake, Mill urges that only happiness is desired for its own sake.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Only happiness is desired for its own sake.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

.Since Mill's time the only writer who has introduced any modification into strictly Utilitarian thought is Sidgwick (Methods of Ethics, 1874), who acknowledges that the pleasure-and-pain standard is incapable of serving universally as the criterion of morality; but believes it to be valuable as an instrument for the correction of the received moral code.^ I believe universal utilitarianism is capable of this.
  • Ebon Musings: The Ineffable Carrot and the Infinite Stick 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.ebonmusings.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Donating to charity, for example, is morally correct since this acknowledges the inherent value of the recipient.
  • Ethics [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Evolutionary psychology reveals the common morality of our species, and the universal values of fairness, kindness, and reciprocity.
  • Political Crossfire Forums :: View topic - Are we better off without religion? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.politicalcrossfire.com [Source type: General]

.The general happiness principle he defends as the norm of conduct but he treats it rather as a primary than a demonstrable one.^ The proposition that happiness is the end and aim of morality, does not mean that no road ought to be laid down to that goal, or that persons going thither should not be advised to take one direction rather than another.
  • 730_105_03: Utilitarianism I 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.livejournal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Happiness, on the other hand, no one chooses for the sake of these, nor, in general, for anything other than itself.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

^ He argues that it is because happiness is the only thing desirable for its own sake that the test of conduct generally is its promotion of happiness.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

.Although he vigorously denounced Utilitarianism, Herbert Spencer's ethical construction (Data of Ethics, 1879), which may be taken as the type of the Evolutionist school, is fundamentally Utilitarian.^ For example, in The Expanding Circle: Ethics and Sociobiology , the utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer argues that fundamentally utilitarian ethical reasoning has existed from the time primitive foraging bands had to cooperate, compromise, and make group decisions to survive.
  • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

^ The means proposed may incidentally coincide with those prescribed by utilitarianism, though the foundational ethical imperative would not, of course, be utilitarian.
  • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Herbert Spencer: Evolutionary Ethics The ethical system sometimes called evolutionary ethics holds that human beings' sense of right and wrong originates from the process of natural selection that brought our species into existence.
  • Ebon Musings: The Ineffable Carrot and the Infinite Stick 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.ebonmusings.org [Source type: Original source]

.True, instead of happiness he makes the increase of life, that is, a fuller and more intensive life, the end of human conduct, because it is the end of the entire cosmic activity of which human conduct is a part.^ Eudemonism = the view that happiness is the ultimate end of human life.
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.uri.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Instead of deriving the concept of human nature from the ultimate end of human activity (as Aristotle and Jesus did), Bentham draws the idea of human ends from the way how human nature really functions under the guidance of sovereign factors.
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.uri.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ On a more extreme note, we could certainly increase overall utility if we infected a small population of humans with AIDS and studied them in labs (because it would greatly increase our knowledge of the disease), but this is rightly viewed as morally abhorrent.
  • Environmental Economics: The Problems and Limitations of Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.env-econ.net [Source type: Original source]

.But he holds pleasure and pain to be the standard which discriminates right from wrong so that in reality he looks upon the moral value of actions as entirely dependent upon their utility.^ Utilitarianism is based upon a Utility Principle , which defines what makes an action the right or wrong action.
  • utilitarianism@Everything2.com 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.everything2.com [Source type: Original source]

^ A. The standard of right and wrong is fashioned upon the fact that pleasure attracts while pain repels.
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.uri.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ When called upon to make a moral decision one measures an action's value with respect to pleasure and pain according to the following: intensity (how strong the pleasure or pain is), duration (how long it lasts), certainty (how likely the pleasure or pain is to be the result of the action), proximity (how close the sensation will be to performance of the action), fecundity (how likely it is to lead to further pleasures or pains), purity (how much intermixture there is with the other sensation).
  • The History of Utilitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

.His account of the genesis of our moral ideas, of conscience, and of our moral judgments is too lengthy and complicated to enter into here.^ Hurka brilliantly shows that this hypothesis about the value of persons collects many of our considered moral judgments about extinction and the value of individuals.
  • PERSON-AFFECTING UTILITARIANISM AND POPULATION POLICY 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.public.iastate.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Although Bentham does not take into account social relations among individuals, he is aware that our actions have beneficial or detrimental impact on others.
  • Utilitarianism 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.uri.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ Psychological Issues in Metaethics A second area of metaethics involves the psychological basis of our moral judgments and conduct, particularly understanding what motivates us to be moral.
  • Ethics [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]

.Suffice it to say that in it he sets forth the influence of association with that of heredity as the source of our moral standards and judgments.^ Hurka brilliantly shows that this hypothesis about the value of persons collects many of our considered moral judgments about extinction and the value of individuals.
  • PERSON-AFFECTING UTILITARIANISM AND POPULATION POLICY 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.public.iastate.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ If we choose the first option, then we are saying that there is a moral standard external to God, and that is this standard, and not God himself, that determines what is good; God would simply be relaying this information to us.
  • Ebon Musings: The Ineffable Carrot and the Infinite Stick 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.ebonmusings.org [Source type: Original source]

^ Further, we associate certain things with their effects, so that we form positive associations and negative associations that also underwrite our moral judgments.
  • The History of Utilitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC plato.stanford.edu [Source type: Original source]

.Our sense of moral obligation is but a transitory feeling, generated by the confluence of our inherited racial experience of the results of action with another feeling that the remote present themselves to our consciousness as possessing more "authoritativeness" than the immediate results.^ In the case of abstinences indeed- of things which people forbear to do from moral considerations, though the consequences in the particular case might be beneficial- it would be unworthy of an intelligent agent not to be consciously aware that the action is of a class which, if practised generally, would be generally injurious, and that this is the ground of the obligation to abstain from it.
  • 730_105_03: Utilitarianism I 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.livejournal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Once this is recognized, supporters argue that utilitarianism becomes a much more complex, and rich, moral theory, and may align much more closely with our moral intuitions.
  • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

^ However we are closer to 'proles' in that we are frequently biased and unable to foresee all possible consequence of our actions, and thus we require moral guidelines.
  • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

.The arguments urged against Hedonism in general are effective against Utilitarianism.^ The remainder of the stock arguments against utilitarianism mostly consist in laying to its charge the common infirmities of human nature, and the general difficulties which embarrass conscientious persons in shaping their course through life.
  • 730_105_03: Utilitarianism I 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.livejournal.com [Source type: Original source]

^ In virtue of such similarities, the objection Moore urges against Mill is equally applicable to Aristotle’s arguments.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

^ I agree that it is one of the more convincing arguments against utilitarianism.
  • 730_105_03: Utilitarianism I 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.livejournal.com [Source type: Original source]

.Its own peculiar weakness lies in its failure to find a passage from egoism to altruism; its identification of self-interest and benevolence as a motive of conduct; and its claim that the ideas morally right and useful are identical at bottom.^ Motive utilitarianism proposes that our initial moral task be to inculcate motives within ourselves that will be generally useful across the spectrum of the situations we are likely to encounter.
  • What is Utilitarianism? 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC ipedia.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Normative ethics takes on a more practical task, which is to arrive at moral standards that regulate right and wrong conduct.
  • Ethics [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC www.utm.edu [Source type: Original source]

^ When it is claimed that a man has a right to worship in accord with the dictates of his own conscience, it is not implied that if someone were to prevent him from worshipping in this manner, he would be doing something unjust.
  • Online Library of Liberty - Mill's Utilitarianism - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume X - Essays on Ethics, Religion, and Society 16 January 2010 10:010 UTC oll.libertyfund.org [Source type: Original source]

Portions of this entry are taken from The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907.
Facts about UtilitarianismRDF feed

Simple English

Utilitarianism is a theory in philosophy about right and wrong actions. It says that the morally best action is the one that makes the most overall happiness or "utility" (usefulness).

The theory was made popular by 18th and 19th century British philosophers like Francis Hutcheson, Jeremy Bentham, and John Stuart Mill, but the idea goes all the way back to ancient times.

Bentham wrote about this idea with the words "The greatest good for the greatest number", but did not use the word utilitarianism. It was Mill, a follower of Bentham's ideas, who named the idea.


Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 12, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Utilitarianism, which are similar to those in the above article.








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