5 utilitarianism cognitivism and consequentialism
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5 utilitarianism cognitivism and consequentialism

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5 utilitarianism cognitivism and consequentialism Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Utilitarianism  Jeremy Bentham-England (1748-1832): Utilitarian Principle  An action is right from an ethical point of view if the sum total of utilities produced by that act is greater than the sum total of utilities produced by any other act the person could have performed at that situation  This principle assumes that positive and negative benefits can be somehow measured  To do in a particular situation:  Determine possible alternative actions that are available/possible  Estimate the direct and indirect benefits  Choose the alternative that has greatest sum of utility
  • 2. Utilitarianism  Utilitarianism matches with views of majority  Is an intuitive criteria employed by people when discussing moral conduct  Governments use utilitarianism principles in their economic and welfare policies (social cost-benefit analysis)  Problems of measurement:  Difficult to know whether the utility would be maximised by one giving out or the other receiving it or trading or exchanging  Difficult to mesasure like value of life  Predictability of result from an action  What is to count as benefit and what as cost (funding pubs!)
  • 3. Utilitarianism  Utilitarian reply to measurement objection:  Consequences to be sufficiently measured to help comparison and impartially weighted against each other  Several common-sense criteria can be used  Weigh goods based on needs (basic) and wants  Measure in terms of monetary equivalents of similar elements  Utilitarians argue that every one puts an implicit price for his/her life while taking decisions affecting his life
  • 4. Concept of a Right  Individual's entitlement to something  If the entitlement is derived from a legal system, it is called a legal right  Entitlements can also derive from a system of moral standards; such rights are called moral rights or human rights  Rights are powerful devices, in the sence that it may authorise a person to do whatever not specified in law or morality  Moral rights are tightly correlated with duties  Moral rights provide individuals with autonomy and equality in free pursuit of their interests  Moral rights provide a basis for justifying one's action
  • 5. Negative and Positive Rights  Negative rights is distinguished by its type like privacy, which others can not interfere; includes the right to destroy personal property by himself  Positive rights do more than impose negative rights. They imply that some other agents have to provide them  Clean environment  Healthy food  Opportunity to education
  • 6. Rights and Duties  Walmart and the 'pajamas'  Microsoft and China operations  UN Declaration of Human Rights:  Right to own property alone and with association of others  Right to work, free choice of employment, favourable conditions etc  Right to just and favourable remuneration  Right to form and join trade unions  Right to rest and leisure, limitation on working hours
  • 7. Contractual Rights and Duties  Also called special rights and duties or special obligations  Come with limited rights and correlative duties  Attached to specific individuals; between particular individuals and depends on a publicly accepted system of rules  Both parties entering into a contract have full knowledge of nature of agreement  Neither party to a contract must intentionally misrepresent the facts of the contract situation  Neither party to the contract must be forced to enter the contract under duress or coercion  The contract must not bind the parties to an immoral act
  • 8. Rights and Justice  Utilitarian principle implies that certain actions are morally right but or unjust or violate people's rights  Utilitarianism can go wrong in cases involving social justice: majority of society members want to enjoy cheap vegetables denying those producing them a better wages
  • 9. Rights and Justice  Rule utilitarian: Do not suppose that a particular action will produce the greatest amount of utility  An action is right from an ethical point of view if and only if the action would be required by those moral rules that are correct  A moral value is correct if and only if the sum of total utilities produced if everyone were to follow that rule is greater than the sum total utilites produced if everyone were to follow some alternative rule  If a rule allows people to make an exception whenever an exception will maximize utility
  • 10. Rights and Justice  Rule utilitarian: Do not suppose that a particular action will produce the greatest amount of utility  An action is right from an ethical point of view if and only if the action would be required by those moral rules that are correct  A moral value is correct if and only if the sum of total utilities produced if everyone were to follow that rule is greater than the sum total utilites produced if everyone were to follow some alternative rule  If a rule allows people to make an exception whenever an exception will maximize utility
  • 11. Kant's Categorical Imperatives  Immanuel Kant – German (1724-1804)  Everyone should be treated as a free person equal to everyone else  First Formulation of Categorical Imperative:  An action is morally right for a person in a certain situation if, and only if, the person's reason for carrying out the action is a reason that he or she would be willing to have every person act on,in any similar situation  “Do unto others as you would have them to unto you”
  • 12. Kant's Categorical Imperatives  Second Formulation of Categorical Imperative:  An action is morally right for a person if, and only if, in performing the action, the person does not use others merely as a means for advancing his or her own interests, but also both respects and develops their capacity to choose freely for themselves  Kantian Rigths:  Have positive rights to work, food, clothing , housing and medical care  Have negative rights freedom of speech, thought, association and right to privacy  Have a contracual right to what they have been promised in contracts
  • 13. Limitations of Kantianism  Whether one would be willing to have everyone follow a certain policy  Which right to be limited in favour of others? (noise disturbing others)  'Reversability' – Racial discrimination
  • 14. Kantianism vs Utilitarianism  In the system of utilitrianism, the end justifies the means and actions are judged on the results not on the intentions or motives  In Kantianism, the motive is important and not the end results  Utilitarianism is one of the building blocks of democratic system; Kantinism believes that democracy overlooks the minorities and individuals  Kantianism argues that any action can not be moral unless the motives are moral
  • 15. Kantianism vs Utilitarianism Kantianism Utilitarianism Its motive Its consequences Basic value Autonomy Pleasure/happiness Ethical imperative Respect autonomy Choices evaluated from Impersonal point of view Test for ethical correctness Utility calculation Ethically relevant feature of an act Promote pleasure/happiness Chooser's point of view Categorical imperative