Though theorists differ, most claim that whether an action is optimific depends only on its actual (not expected) results. The other party to the comparison knows both sides”. Explains why moral prohibitions (against lying, stealing, etc.) Both Rawls and Nozick drew inspiration from Kant and the social contract tradition. ( Log Out /  The original basis of this theory was Hedonism, a psychological theory. Mill's Qualitative Hedonism - Volume 51 Issue 195 - Henry R. West Skip to main content We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a … For this class we will use the slightly more colloquial “Is-ought gap” to describe this mistake. While Bentham’s utility had a quantitative and reductionistic approach, which describes that being hedonistic is always good and being in pain is always evil, Mill emphasized the qualitative difference, suggesting that the happiness of people must be the ultimate goal of utilitarianism. ( Log Out /  Utilitarianism gives us a method for making difficult moral decisions. For utilitarians, the moral community consists of all beings capable of, Bentham “the question is not Can they reason?, Nor can they talk?, but Can they suffer?”, Utilitarians were way ahead of their time on women’s rights and animal rights, Morally praiseworthy actions are not necessarily the right actions according to utitlitarianism, Actions are evaluated on actual consequences, Intentions are evaluated on expected consequences not actual consequences, The right action is the action that maximizes actual utility, The right intention is the intention maximizes expected utility, This is a little strange in that you could have an action that would be the wrong action but still be morally praiseworthy, utitlitarianism seems to be too demanding in requiring an excessive or impossible amount of deliberation in order to determine the right action as the right action is the one with the best consequences, overall and until the end of time considered as to how it affects every sentient organism on the planet, on a utilitarian account the right motivations are the ones that produce the most happiness, utilitarianism seems to suggest that one needs to have the motivations of a saint, to always be motivated to maximize utility, utilitarianism implies that we are always doing the wrong thing because its standard of right action is so high, utilitarianism seems to imply that the right life is a life of extreme and constant self sacrifice, in our ordinary way of thinking about actions we tend to think of some actions as superogatory, admirable and praiseworthy but not required, but according to utilitarianism all right actions are required, Utilitarianism seems to violate a principle that is generally accepted in moral reasoning, that “ought is implies can.”. If (2) were true then (4) would also be true. Of two pleasures, if there be one to which all or almost all who have experience of both give a decided preference, irrespective of any feeling of moral obligation to prefer it, that is the more desirable pleasure. The above argument is invalid. Slavery, rape, and killing are wrong because they make people (very) unhappy. Topics discussed include Consequentialism, the Desire Theory of Pleasure, the alleged inconsistency of Qualitative Hedonism, and the relation of Qualitatively-Hedonistic Utilitarianism to Libertarianism. Utilitarianism, by John Stuart Mill, is an essay written to provide support for the value of utilitarianism as a moral theory, and to respond to misconceptions about it. In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remarked, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary ways of reasoning, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when all of a sudden I am surprised to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. The  injustice objection is the most challenging for the utilitarian to address. There are such examples (the dying promise). Utilitarianism has no real way to account for rights. Premise (2) is supposed to follow from (1) and (4) is supposed to follow from (2) and (3). When we pass up a chance to do an action that would have had better results, we are doing something wrong. “few human creatures would consent to be changed into any of the lower animals,”, “no intelligent human being would consent to be a fool,”, “no instructed person would be an ignoramus,” and, “no person of feeling and conscience would be selfish and base”, Rule Utilitarianism has been suggested as a solution to various problems, especially the injustice objection, Df – an action is required iff it is dictated by a rule that if followed by everyone would maximize utitlity, Df – an action is morally required if and only if it maximizes utility, Gets the right answer in certain cases that act utilitarianism seems to get wrong, And more generally any case involving individual rights, civil liberties, etc. Bentham believed in act utilitarianism, meaning that the rightness or wrongness of particular actions is measured in terms of its particular consequences. 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