Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
Reading...
Front

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key

image

Play button

image

Play button

image

Progress

1/37

Click to flip

37 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Fundamentals of Utility Calculus
1. Each person affected by an action counts as 1

2. Pleasure is quantifiable and exchangeable.

The best action is the one which produces the greatest sum of pleasure.
Law of Diminishing Return
Bill Gates gets less pleasure than a starving homeless person from $10.
The more you get the less payback you get.
This avoids Utility Monsters that get all the pleasure.
2 Major problems with Utilitarianism
1. Don't have access to the pain/pleasure of others in measuring whether our actions maximize utility.

2. We can't predict the longterm utility of our actions - we're not psychics.
How does pure utilitarianism look at pleasure re: rape, comm. service, or eating?
They are all equal pleasure. Pleasure is pleasure.
If an action produces ANY pleasure at all, it counts in favor of the action as being moral.
What is the best thing for:
Aristotle
Kant
Mill
Arist: Happiness/flourishing.
Kant: the rational being itself.
Mill: Pleasure
utilitarianism IS NOT:
it is not opposed to pleasure - spicy, not dry!

it is not pleasure in its coarsest form.
it's modest, not voluptuous!
GREATEST HAPPINESS PRINCIPLE of utility:
Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness. Wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.
Happiness is:
Unhappiness is:
pleasure and the absence of pain.

pain and the privation of pleasure.
3 distinct def. of happiness by
arist
kant
mill
arist: virtuous activity in acc. w/ reason and if >1, best/most complete.

kant: complete well being and contement with one's circumstances.

mill: pleasure and the absence of pain.
Only thing desirable as an ultimate end for Mill:
pleasure.
1st Objection to Utilitarianism:
To say that the only ult. end of life is pleasure is to say that humans are pigs.
Response to Obj. 1 (swines)
this assumes that humans are only capable of swine's pleasure. (sensual)

There are different pleasures.
higher-lower
Higher pleasures
why?
intellectual pleasures.
Tests:
1. Higher pleasures last longer, cost less, safer.
2. Competent individuals acquainted w/ both hi/lo prefer higher.
intellectual pleasures
Pleasures of the
Intellect
Feelings and imaginations
moral sentiments.
How mill proves the superiority of the higher pleasures
Everyone who knows both hi/lo pleasures prefers higher.

The preference of the lo-pleasure doers doesn't count because they are incapable of the hi pleasures.
Objection 2:
No one can be happy
response to obj. 2
1. if that's true, they could be less unhappy.

2. it IS possible to be happy ABC
Response 2A to object. 2
in a tolerable life there are 2 main sources of unhappiness and both can be eliminated:
ignorance
selfishness
Everyone has access to friends and education.
Response 2B to obj. 2
The main afflicitons in the world can be removedby proper social planning.
Positive ills in the world:
Poverty
Disease
Death of loved ones.
Response 2C to objection 2
there are 3 basic life plans by which we might be happy:
-Tranquil
-Intermittent tranquil/excitement
-Excitement
objection 3:
The standard of utility is too high. AB
objection 3A:
the standard of util. is too high
it expects us to act only from the motivation of inreasing utility.
response 3A:
the standard of utility has nothing to do with the motive of the action; you can be motivated by pure duty, selfish inclinations, or whatever. all that matters in making it moral is if the result is increased utility.
objection 3B
the standard of utility is too high - it expects us to use all our resources to increase utility. can never buy a pizza, always have to donate to OXFAM.
response 3B:
it's too high? what makes you think it's too high you self-centered consumer you?
Objection 4
The utilitarian doctrine is Godless; it only says act to increase utility; not act in accordance with God.
Response 4A
The utilitarian doctrine is different from what God wants?

-that depends on what you think God wants. If he's benevolent and wants us to be happy, then God is util. himself.
Response 4B
Util. doctrine does not follow the Bible?
God is smart; his rules promote utility so you can follow both.
He says don't commit adultery, and this promotes utility.
objection 5
utilitarianism is another name for expediencey; that which is expedient for the particular interest of the agent himself.
response to obj. 5
immoral actions may be momentarily expedient, but the practice of lying is a long-term disutility.
sanctions that apply to utility
just the same as any other ethical theory:
-external
-internal
external sanctions
-hope of favor and fear of displeasure from fellow creatures or the Ruler of the universe.
-our inclination to do His will because we love him, and we we have sympathy/affection for others.
EXTERNAL SANCTIONS ENFORCE UTILITARIAN MORALITY
internal sanction:
our conscience.
duty is obligatory from any external source; we must act from respect for the moral law (incidently the same as Kant's grounding for the princ. of morality)
3 points used to disprove Arist, and prove that pls is the only ultimate end.
1. Pleasure is desirable as an end.
2. Pleasure is the only desirble end.
3. The desire for pleas. entails morality.
How Mill uses point 1 to disprove Arist:
1. Pleasure is desirable as an end.

-All else equal, we'd rather have pleasure than not.
How Mill uses point 3 to disprove Arist:
3. the desire for pls entails morality:

I want hap; you want hap; therefore we want hap.
What if hap conflicts?
-Don't be selfish; then they won't.