Essays on rule utilitarianism

Bentham's book An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation was printed in but not published until It is possible that Bentham was spurred on to publish after he saw the success of Paley's The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy. Bentham's work opens with a statement of the principle of utility: It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do… By the principle of utility is meant that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever according to the tendency it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question:

Essays on rule utilitarianism

Collections of Essays 1. Overall View Utilitarianism is a philosophical view or theory about how we Essays on rule utilitarianism evaluate a wide range of things that involve choices that people face.

Among the things that can be evaluated are actions, laws, policies, character traits, and moral codes. Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism because it rests on the idea that it is the consequences or results of actions, laws, policies, etc.

In general, whatever is being evaluated, we ought to choose the one that will produce the best overall results.

Essays on rule utilitarianism

Utilitarianism appears to be a simple theory because it consists of only one evaluative principle: Do what produces the best consequences. In fact, however, the theory is complex because we cannot understand that single principle unless we know at least three things: Jeremy Bentham answered this question by adopting the view called hedonism.

Giants and Dwarfs: Essays, [Allan David Bloom] on timberdesignmag.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A volume of wide-ranging essays deals with contemporary politics, modern thinkers, and today's universities. Custom Rule-utilitarianism and Act-utilitarianism essay paper Morality is one of the aspects in life that is regarded to be very important as they mould an individual’s life in a positive way. However the main focus should be the kind of morals that one should adapt to in order to . In the book, rule utilitarian is an interpretation of utilitarianism that says each moral situation should be guided first by prima facie rules. The agent assesses a situation on act utilitarian principle but within the framework of prima facie rules that can override apparent act utilitarian outcomes.

According to hedonism, the only thing that is good in itself is pleasure or happiness. Likewise, on the negative side, a lack of food, friends, or freedom is instrumentally bad because it produces pain, suffering, and unhappiness; but pain, suffering and unhappiness are intrinsically bad, i.

Many thinkers have rejected hedonism because pleasure and pain are sensations that we feel, claiming that many important goods are not types of feelings.

Being healthy or honest or having knowledge, for example, are thought by some people to be intrinsic goods that are not types of feelings. Other thinkers see desires or preferences as the basis of value; whatever a person desires is valuable to that person.

If desires conflict, then the things most strongly preferred are identified as good. This debate will not be further discussed in this article. Utilitarian reasoning can be used for many different purposes. It can be used both for moral reasoning and for any type of rational decision-making.

In addition to applying in different contexts, it can also be used for deliberations about the interests of different persons and groups. When individuals are deciding what to do for themselves alone, they consider only their own utility. For example, if you are choosing ice cream for yourself, the utilitarian view is that you should choose the flavor that will give you the most pleasure.

If you enjoy chocolate but hate vanilla, you should choose chocolate for the pleasure it will bring and avoid vanilla because it will bring displeasure. In addition, if you enjoy both chocolate and strawberry, you should predict which flavor will bring you more pleasure and choose whichever one will do that.

Essay Question: Rule Vs. Act Utilitarianism - Essay

Because Bentham and other utilitarians were interested in political groups and public policies, they often focused on discovering which actions and policies would maximize the well-being of the relevant group. Their method for determining the well-being of a group involved adding up the benefits and losses that members of the group would experience as a result of adopting one action or policy.

The well-being of the group is simply the sum total of the interests of the all of its members. To illustrate this method, suppose that you are buying ice cream for a party that ten people will attend.

Your only flavor options are chocolate and vanilla, and some of the people attending like chocolate while others like vanilla. As a utilitarian, you should choose the flavor that will result in the most pleasure for the group as a whole. If seven like chocolate and three like vanilla and if all of them get the same amount of pleasure from the flavor they like, then you should choose chocolate.

Similarly, if a government is choosing a policy, it should give equal consideration to the well-being of all members of the society. Bentham is often cited as the source of a famous utilitarian axiom: Actual Consequences or Foreseeable Consequences?

Utilitarians disagree about whether judgments of right and wrong should be based on the actual consequences of actions or their foreseeable consequences. This issue arises when the actual effects of actions differ from what we expected.

Smart 49 explains this difference by imagining the action of a person who, in ,saves someone from drowning. Had Hitler drowned, millions of other people might have been saved from suffering and death between and One reason for adopting foreseeable consequence utilitarianism is that it seems unfair to say that the rescuer acted wrongly because the rescuer could not foresee the future bad effects of saving the drowning person.

In response, actual consequence utilitarians reply that there is a difference between evaluating an action and evaluating the person who did the action.

Consequentialism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

They stress the difference between evaluating actions and evaluating the people who perform them. Foreseeable consequence utilitarians accept the distinction between evaluating actions and evaluating the people who carry them out, but they see no reason to make the moral rightness or wrongness of actions depend on facts that might be unknowable.

For them, what is right or wrong for a person to do depends on what is knowable by a person at a time. For this reason, they claim that the person who rescued Hitler did the right thing, even though the actual consequences were unfortunate. Another way to describe the actual vs.

One the actual consequence view says that to act rightly is to do whatever produces the best consequences.Act and Rule Utilitarianism Essay Sample Throughout this essay I will be comparing the Act and Rule variations of Utilitarianism to uncover the difference between the two. Utilitarianism is teleological or consequentialist approach to ethics, which argues that something is good or bad according to its benefit for the majority of the people.

Two such theories are called "act utilitarianism" and "rule utilitarianism." Essays for Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill.

Essays on rule utilitarianism

Rule utilitarianism is not dependent on a specific action that creates the greatest good but it is following a set of rules or set laws that will have the greatest outcome for the greatest number of people.

This chronology gives some important events about the golden rule ("Treat others as you want to be treated"). The chronology is taken, with permission by the publisher, from Chapter 5 of my book. Act utilitarianism is the belief that it is correct to break a rule as long as it brings a greater good and happiness, while Rule utilitarianism is a belief that even if a rule does not bring a greater good, breaking it will not bring a good either.

This collection contains sixteen essays on utilitarianism, including essays on historical figures as well as discussion of 21 st century issues, including both act and rule .

Act and Rule Utilitarianism | Essay Example