Outline Of Utilitarianism

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ESSAY PLAN

Paragraph 1: Introduction
• Utilitarianism as a political theory o ‘Morally right act/policy is that which procedures the greatest happiness’ (Kymlicka 2002, p. 10)
• Best way to determine morally right act/policy:
• Consequences produced from ones actions – ‘consequentialism’
• Encourages maximizing this overall good
• Can be viewed as an exhaustive moral theory o Will focus on utilitarianism as a ‘political morality’
• Outline of essay

Paragraph 2: Overview of utilitarianism
• Utilitarianism as a political theory in depth o Main concerns: happiness, welfare, well-being
• Development of the political theory o Classical Utilitarians include Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill
• Focusing on Mill:
• Emphasizes that utilitarianism has had an enormous
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32-33) o “People matter, and matter equally; therefore each person’s interests should be given equal weight; therefore morally right acts will maximize utility” (Kymlicka 2002 p. 33)
• Reinforces Mill’s argument (Mill 2007)
• Technological utilitarianism (Kymlicka 2002 pp. 33-34) o Concerned with the state of affairs o Gives rise to John Rawls and Derek Parfit
• Rawls: ‘right act’ = maximizing good rather than equal consideration of interests (Goldman 1980)
• Parfit: should maximize utility no matter the impact on the utility of existing individuals
• Discuss graph

Paragraph 6: Arguments against utilitarianism
• Overall, inadequate notion of equality: aims to treat people as equals but violates the intuitions of others o External preferences (Kymlicka 2002 pp. 37-38)
• Goods, recourses, opportunities
• Problematic in counting such preferences o Selfish preferences (Kymlicka 2002 pp. 38-45)
• Desire for greater portion of preferences
• Encourages irrationality
• Reinforces Hare – ‘rationality’ should be included when aiming to satisfy

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