Philosophers may pursue knowledge as their ultimate goal; others value virtue, fame or wealth. It fell out of favor in the Early Modern period, but has recently undergone a modern resurgence.
This proposal is reconcilable with all three interpretations, but does not bear any relation to the question concerning which of the interpretations he could have preferred. Criticisms[ edit ] Because utilitarianism is not a single theory but a cluster of related theories that have been developed over two hundred years, criticisms can be made for different reasons and have different targets.
Smart as the title to his reply to Popper  in which he argued that the principle would entail seeking the quickest and least painful method of killing the entirety of humanity. Negative Utilitarianism requires us to promote the least amount of evil or harm, or to prevent the greatest amount of suffering, for the greatest number as opposed to the general, or positive, Utilitiarian rule of the greatest amount of good for the greatest number.
According to the formula of utility, actions are more or less correct insofar as they facilitate happiness CW 10, In this private sphere we can act at our convenience and indulge in inexpedient and utterly useless behavior as long as we do not harm others. In his essay "On Liberty" and other works, Mill argued that Utilitarianism requires that any political arrangements satisfy the liberty principle or harm principleaccording to which the A description of utilitaranism the ethical doctrine purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community against his will, is to prevent harm to others, a cornerstone of the principles of Liberalism and Libertarianism.
Similarly, this conception of rule utilitarianism assesses rules in both maximizing and scalar fashion. We have to differentiate between the following two statements: This cut against the view that there are some actions that by their very nature are just wrong, regardless of their effects.
Sentient Utilitarianism states that the well-being of all sentient beings i. Few could stand by and watch a child drown; many can ignore the avoidable deaths of children in Africa or India. Corresponding to this is the differentiation of the doctrine of necessity determinism and the doctrine of fatalism.
Understood as a theory about moral obligation, act utilitarianism postulates: Utilitarianism, Roger Crisp ed. It says that happiness consists in the exercise of higher capacities, that the preferences of competent judges are evidential of superior value, and that higher pleasures are objective pleasures.
Critics have argued that the ultimate aim of Negative Utilitarianism would therefore logically be to engender the quickest and least painful method of killing the entirety of humanity, as this would effectively minimize suffering, although more moderate proponents would obviously not propose that.
This may actually require active intervention to prevent harm from being doneor may only require passive avoidance of bad outcomes. When we are "inculcating" or in situations where the biases of our human nature are likely to prevent us doing the calculations properly, then we should use the more general rule utilitarianism.
Deontology is an approach to ethics that focuses on the rightness or wrongness of actions themselves, as opposed to the rightness or wrongness of the consequences of those actions. Criticisms[ edit ] Because utilitarianism is not a single theory but a cluster of related theories that have been developed over two hundred years, criticisms can be made for different reasons and have different targets.
Moreover, it is clear that Mill thinks we need to depart from otherwise justified secondary principles in an important range of cases.
Because sanction utilitarianism is a species of indirect utilitarianism, it is inconsistent with act utilitarianism. Like Shaftesbury, Francis Hutcheson was very much interested in virtue evaluation. However, they should periodically step back and review, as best they can, whether the principle continues to satisfy conditions 1 and 2.
It claims that all essential events in life are fixed, regardless of antecedent conditions or psychological laws. Our desires often reflect value judgments we make, explicitly or implicitly.
He suggests that many of the problems arise under the traditional formulation because the conscientious utilitarian ends up having to make up for the failings of others and so contributing more than their fair share.
It is natural to group these four considerations into two main kinds: It also has a propositional aspect, so that animals, which are not lacking in other senses are lacking in this one.Utility, after which the doctrine is named, is a measure in economics of the relative satisfaction from, or desirability of, the consumption of goods.
Utilitarianism can thus be described as a quantitative and reductionistic approach to Ethics. Utilitarianism definition, the ethical doctrine that virtue is based on utility, and that conduct should be directed toward promoting the greatest happiness of the greatest number of persons.
See more. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that states that the best action is the one that maximizes utility, which is usually defined as that which produces the greatest well-being of the greatest number of people, and in some cases, sentient animals.
Descriptive Ethics is a value-free approach to ethics which examines ethics from the perspective of observations of actual choices made by moral agents in practice.
It is the study of people's beliefs about morality, and implies the existence of, rather than explicitly prescribing, theories of value or of conduct.
Utilitarianism definition is - a doctrine that the useful is the good and that the determining consideration of right conduct should be the usefulness of its consequences; specifically: a theory that the aim of action should be the largest possible balance of pleasure over pain or the greatest happiness of the greatest number.
Utility, after which the doctrine is named, is a measure in economics of the relative satisfaction from, or desirability of, the consumption of goods. Utilitarianism can thus be described as a quantitative and reductionistic approach to Ethics.Download