L10 the utilitarians


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L10 the utilitarians

  1. 1. Lesson 10- JEREMY BENTHAM AND JOHN STUART MILL Presented by: Arnel O. Rivera LPU-Cavite Based on the presentation of: Mr. Alexander Rodis
  2. 2. UTILITARIANISM  The utilitarians said that the morally best act is the one that produces the greatest amount of happiness with everyone considered.  The difference of utilitarianism to Aristotle, the Epicureans, and Augustine and Aquinas is that, according to these earlier philosophers, it is your own happiness that you should strive for.
  3. 3. THE QUESTION IS:  SHOULD WE AIM AT INCREASING THE AVERAGE HAPPINESS OR THE TOTAL HAPPINESS – even if this would reduce the happiness per person?  The utilitarians are usually interpreted as favoring increasing the average happiness.  They believed that when you are trying to produce happiness, it is not just your own happiness you should aim for but rather the happiness of people in general.  It is common to attribute to the utilitarians the view that the right act is the one that produces “the greatest number”.  We will interpret the utiliratians as favoring the view that the more happiness as given number of people has, the better.  And again, according to this philosophy, your own happiness is not more important morally than that of others.  It is the consequences of an act that determine its rightness.
  4. 4. JEREMY BENTHAM (1748-1832)  He equated happiness with pleasure.  “Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as determine what we shall do.  The word ought, right, good and the like have meaning only when defined in terms pleasure,  In all other intelligible moral standards either must be interpreted in terms of the pleasure standard or are simply disguised versions of the pleasure standard in the first place.
  5. 5. THE CALCULUS OF PLEASURE  Bentham believed that the pain and pleasure an act produces can be evaluated solely with reference to quantitative criteria.  Which two or more courses of action you should take should be determined by considering the probable consequences of each possible act with respect to the certainty, intensity, duration immediacy and extent (the number of persons affected) of pleasure or pain it produces, and with respect to the other kinds of sensations it is likely to have as a result over the long run.
  6. 6. JOHN STUART MILL (1806-1873)  The most important difference between Mill and Bentham is that Mill believed that some pleasures are inherently better that others and are to be preferred even over a greater amount of pleasure of an inferior grade.  Thus in determining pleasure for which should strive, we must consider the quality of the pleasure as well as the quantity. Choose the pleasure of the highest quality.
  7. 7. WHICH OF TWO PLEASURES IS OF HIGHER QUALITY?  Pleasures preferred by intellectual will be found to be of superior quality, for non-intellectuals “only know their own side of the question.  According to Mill, it is not simply the quantity of pleasure an act produces that determines its moral worth; the quality of the pleasure produced must also be taken into account. Mill is thus said to have recognized implicitly a factor other than pleasure by which moral worth of actions should be compared: the factor of quality. In other words, he is said to have proposed a standard of moral worth other than pleasure, a standard of “quality” by means of which pleasure itself is evaluated.
  8. 8.  BENTHAM UTILITARIANISM is called ACT UTILITARIANISM – the rightness of an act is determined by its effect on general happiness.  MILL UTILITARIANISM is RULE UTILITARIANISM – although mill also subscribed to the act utilitarianism, he said that we have to evaluate the moral correctness of an action not with reference of its impact on the general happiness by rather, with respect to the impact on the general happiness of the rule or principle the action exemplifies. 
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