Essay on The Moral Theory Of Utilitarianism

771 Words Jan 28th, 2016 4 Pages
Question #1:

In order to effectively answer this problem I will first provide a brief definition of the positive thesis brought forth by the moral theory of Utilitarianism. As stated by Mill in his article “In Defense of Utilitarianism”, “an act is right if and only if it brings about the greatest total amount of happiness out of all the actions available to the agent, whereby happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain”. (Mill 1990, 172). Essentially, Mill stated in his article that Utilitarianism defines a morally correct action to be one that produces the maximum amount of utility or pleasure within an act. In addition to the positive thesis of Utilitarianism, each unit of pleasure can be expressed as a “hodon” and each unit of pain can be expressed as a “dolor”. The expected utility of an action can be calculated by subtracting the amount of “dolors” from our “hedons” to find the quantifiable amount of benefit from the action. Looking back at the dinner problem, we cannot discern the amount of “hedons” and “dolors” gained from either of the decisions to properly decide which action is morally correct. For example, if the all four people equally preferred their dinner choice, then Thai Kitchen would be the correct moral decision in accordance to Utilitarianism because it would guarantee a higher utility than by choosing India House. However, if the single person who preferred India House was severely allergic to the cuisine served at Thai Kitchen, and the…

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