Sloan-C Trial, Screencast

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Sloan-C Trial, Screencast

  1. 1. Mill’s Utilitarianism<br />The Greatest Happiness Principle<br />
  2. 2. Objectives for the Day<br />“Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character had abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and courage which it contained.”<br />“That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.” <br />“I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.”<br />John Stuart Mill<br />Ethics, as a discipline<br />The Greatest Happiness Principle<br />Counterexamples to Mill’s Utilitarianism<br />Further Considerations<br />Evaluations of the View<br />
  3. 3. John Stuart Mill<br />Mill, not Mills (1806-1873)<br />Severe Upbringing  Mental Breakdowns<br />His life with Harriet Taylor<br />Empiricism vs. Rationalism<br />Mill’s Utilitarian Doctrine<br />Divergence from Bentham<br />
  4. 4. The Field of Ethics<br />Pre-Theoretical:<br />What makes an action good or bad, <br />right or wrong?<br />What is Ethics?<br /> Practical Applications<br /> Theoretical Formulations<br />Metaethical Considerations<br />
  5. 5. Key Tenets of Mill’s Utilitarianism<br /><ul><li>Consequentialist Theory
  6. 6. What is Valuable? What has Intrinsic Value?
  7. 7. The Qualitative Difference Between Pleasures
  8. 8. Intensity
  9. 9. Duration
  10. 10. Certainty
  11. 11. Propinquity
  12. 12. Fecundity
  13. 13. Purity
  14. 14. Extent</li></li></ul><li>Key Tenets of Mill’s Utilitarianism<br />The Greatest Happiness Principle (p. 1061)<br />So what brings on happiness?<br />How are we to decide between these different desires?<br />
  15. 15. Key Tenets of Mill’s Utilitarianism<br />“It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied…<br />And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the equation.” (p. 1062)<br />Remind you of anyone?<br />
  16. 16. Counterexamples to the View:<br />Act-Based Utilitarianism<br />The Question of Rights<br />The Result of Abominable Acts<br />
  17. 17. Counterexamples to the View: The Transplant Case<br />Group Work:<br />“Everyone counts as one,<br />no one as more than one.”<br />
  18. 18. Counterexamples to the View:<br />Rule-based Utilitarianism (p. 1067)<br />Cheating the rules & making exceptions<br />Is a Rule-Based Utilitarianism Coherent?<br />But this is an violation commonly done<br />Mill’s response (1070)<br />So what determines the exceptional cases?<br />Utility, itself!<br />
  19. 19. Counterexamples to the View: The Trolley Case<br />Group Work:<br />“Everyone counts as one,<br />no one as more than one.”<br />
  20. 20. Further Considerations<br />Calculability (1069)<br />Cold & Disinterested (1067)<br />Exacting Too Much (1066)<br />The Notion of Pleasure<br />Against Desires<br />Against Virtue<br />
  21. 21. Further Considerations<br />You, the Philosopher:<br />How do we develop morality?<br />“How can the will be virtuous, where it does not exist in sufficient force, be implanted or awakened? Only by making the person desire virtue—by making him think of it in a pleasurable light.” (1078)<br />
  22. 22. Further Considerations<br />The Nature of Morality:<br />“If the opinion which I have now states is psychologically true—if human nature is so constituted as to desire nothing which is not either a part of happiness or a means to happiness—we can have no other proof, and we require no other, that these are the only things desirable.”<br />Could there be a science of morality?<br />
  23. 23. Evaluations of the View<br />Final Considerations:<br />“Yet no one who opinion deserves a moment’s consideration can doubt that most of the great positive evils of the world are in themselves removable, and will, if human affairs continue to improve, be in the end reduced to narrow limits…Even that most intractable of enemies, disease, may be indefinitely reduced in dimensions by good physical and moral education and proper control of noxious influences.”<br />
  24. 24. Mill’s On Liberty<br />…on the freedom of thought…<br />…the freedom of speech…<br />…and all other dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control…<br />

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