The important features of utilitarianism by jeremy bentham

Since effects of a given policy may change, the moral quality of the policy may change as well. Of course, doctors still should not cut up their patients in anything close to normal circumstances, but this example is so abnormal that we should not expect our normal moral rules to apply, and we should not trust our moral intuitions, which evolved to fit normal situations Sprigge It really is in Gay's article that some of the questions that concerned Hume on the nature of virtue are addressed.

The Constitutional Code Volume Utilitarianism claims to be always a theory that attracts common sense. Sidgwick seems to recommending that we follow the course that we predict will have the best outcome, given as part of our calculations the data that others may fail in some way — either due to having bad desires, or simply not being able to reason effectively.

This position, which might be called proximate consequentialism, makes it much easier for agents and observers to justify moral judgments of acts because it obviates the need to predict non-proximate consequences in distant times and places. As a result of this, he developed a system of higher pleasures and lower pleasures, which he called intellectual pursuits and physical appetites.

To what degree should proponents of a given theory, or confirmed rule, or a given plan - or even proponents of confirmed one-off action - think about what they think people will actually do, as opposed to what they think those same people ought to do under full and acceptable reflection, for example?

Hutcheson, in An Inquiry Concerning Moral Good and Evil, fairly explicitly spelled out a utilitarian principle of action choice. Critics sometimes charge that the average utility could also be increased by killing the worst off, but this claim is not at all clear, because such killing would put everyone in danger since, after the worst off are killed, another group becomes the worst off, and then they might be killed next.

Its Nature and Justification, New York: People sometimes have irrational preferences.


One extremely controversial feature of Sidgwick's views relates to his rejection of a publicity requirement for moral theory. Among Mills most well-known arguments to the effect are available in his writing on women's suffrage when he discusses the ideal relationship of partners, noting that the perfect exists between people of "cultivated faculties" who impact each other equally.

The essential difference is in what determines whether or not an action is the right action. Mill suggested we should all agree on rules to live by in order for us to not use the hedonic calculus on things such as torture, where it is obviously wrong.

Assuming, then, that the average happiness of human beings is a positive quantity, it seems clear that, supposing the average happiness enjoyed remains undiminished, Utilitarianism directs us to make the number enjoying it as great as possible.

Law, Liberty and Government The notion of liberty present in Bentham's account is what is now generally referred to as "negative" liberty—freedom from external restraint or compulsion.

Bentham, a felicific utilitarian and originator of the utilitarian approach, held that pleasures will be the same.

The History of Utilitarianism

To begin with, the principle of utility is clear compared to other moral principlesallows for objective and disinterested public discussion, and enables decisions to be made where there seem to be conflicts of prima facie legitimate interests. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: This kept him open to a number of criticisms.

Of course, such theories are implausible. Experience can guide us. Further, to be virtuous a person must have certain mental health capacities - they must have the ability to reflect on identity, for example, and symbolize to themselves the features in others that are either approved or disapproved of.

This will save utilitarianism from the embarrassment of situations like the main one mentioned above as well as others enjoy it - for occasion, cases of restricting one innocent person to appease a riotous mob that is threatening many more lives in its violent way, or torturing the innocent princess of a terrorist to induce the terrorist to turn himself in preventing several fatalities.

An Odyssey of Ideas Recall that Bentham was enormously interested in cultural reform. It's the motives rather than the consequences that will be the objects of approval and disapproval. Hence, there is no agreement on which theories count as consequentialist under this definition.

Consequentialism and Its Critics, Oxford: It offers a defense of utilitarianism, though some writers Schneewind have argued that it should not primarily be read as a defense of utilitarianism.

In modern terminology, these are response-dependent properties, and lack objectivity in the sense that they do not exist independent of our responses.


Criticisms[ edit ] Because utilitarianism is not a single theory but a cluster of related theories that have been developed over two hundred years, criticisms can be made for different reasons and have different targets. One is the physical antipathy to the offence….

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. But this example appears to put all the emphasis on a concern of consequences in moral acceptance and disapproval.Featuring the main influential contributors to this theory are Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.

There are two types of theories, teleological and deontological theories. We will write a custom essay sample on Key Features of Utilitarianism specifically for you for only $ $/page. Outline the Important Features of. Jeremy Bentham was an English philosopher and political radical. He is primarily known today for his moral philosophy, especially his principle of utilitarianism, which evaluates actions based upon their consequences.

The relevant consequences, in particular, are the overall happiness created for.

The History of Utilitarianism

It may be seen by the scholar of utilitarianism that this is of the main of the theory (the theory of power) has improved over time, such that the present day version has lots of significant variations from that distributed by Jeremy Bentham.

Key Features of utilitarianism and its weaknesses. The Theory of Utilitarianism comes from its name from the Latin word ‘Utilis’, meaning ‘useful’. It was first developed by Jeremy Bentham, Philosopher and legal theorist of the 18th century. Outline the important features of Utilitarianism (21) Utilitarianism is a teleological ethical theory, which means the moral value of an action depends on the consequences it creates, usually intended to be beneficial consequences.

Jeremy Bentham was an English philosopher and political radical. He is primarily known today for his moral philosophy, especially his principle of utilitarianism, which evaluates actions based upon their consequences. The relevant consequences, in particular, are the overall happiness created for.

The important features of utilitarianism by jeremy bentham
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