31 Oct Overview of Utilitarianism: In your own words, explain what you understand about utilitarianisn. If?someone asked you what
2.5 pages minimum. MLA Format
In a journal format, answer or elaborate on the following:
1. Overview of Utilitarianism: In your own words, explain what you understand about utilitarianisn. If someone asked you what you studied in this chapter, what could you tell that person? What is still confusing to you?
2. Overview of Kant's Deontology: In your own words, explain what you understand about Kant's ethical theories. If someone asked you what you studied in this chapter, what could you tell that person? What is still confusing to you?
3. Philosophers: Compare and contrast Immanuel Kant's and Jeremy Bentham's theories. What is the main difference between them? Are there any similarities?
4. Reflection: Which theory do you like more–one that focuses on consequences or one that focuses on intent? Which do you think makes for a more moral society?
5. Clarification: Is there any concept that just does not make sense to you or that needs clarification?
Deontology—theory of moral duty Absolutist/hard universalist theory Normative theory
Principle of doing the right thing; having
good will What we ought to do usually conflicts with
what we are inclined to do Duty v. inclination
Test for doing what is morally right
Solely focused on intentions
Always act so that your decision could become universal law 1. what do I want to do?
2. do I want this decision to be a rule/universal law?
Sees others as important
If we all use the same rules of logic and all react rationally, we will come to the same moral and intellectual conclusions.
1. Consequences count By asking about universal rules, Kant is
talking about consequences
2. Does not resolve conflict between duties just between duty and inclination
3. Loopholes creates scenarios that are too specific
4. Who is rational? Kant assumes all have the same goals
and that our brains work essentially the same way
5. Does not allow for exceptions Tell the truth even if the consequences
Rational beings are ends in themselves
A person is not a means to an end
A person has intrinsic value
Any rational being deserves respect
Things Animals can be used as tools or as a means
to an end
The Kingdom of Ends A world in which people do the right thing
Moral autonomy comes from our own reason
Consequentialist theory Focuses on consequences of actions
Hard Universalist/Absolutist theory
The theory that one ought to maximize happiness and minimize the unhappiness of as many people as possible
Epicurus (341-270 B.C.E.) Greek philosopher who advocated a life free of pain
Coined the term utilitarianism
Believed that it is good for an action to have a utility (to make people happy)
Developed Hume’s theory of utility into a moral theory to reform the British legal system
Believed that all humans are hedonists
Developed Hedonistic Calculus Calculates probable consequences of actions
Produces a rational solution to any problem
Rediscovered the paradox of hedonism The more you search for pleasure, the more it will elude
Refined Bentham’s theory Higher and lower pleasures
Harm Principle The only purpose of interfering with the life of someone
is to prevent harm to others
Always do whatever act that will create the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people
Only focuses on consequences of present decision
Always do whatever type of act (based on a rule) that will create the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people
Focuses on consequences of others applying that same rule
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