Basic idea of utilitarianism

According to Mill, acts should be classified as morally right or wrong only if the consequences are of such significance that a person would Basic idea of utilitarianism to see the agent compelled, not merely persuaded and exhorted, to act in the preferred manner.

Their claim is that, if an experience is neither pleasurable nor painful, then it is a matter of indifference and has no intrinsic value.

Scientists create situations in laboratories in order to test their theories. Bentham attracted as his disciples a number of younger early 19th-century intellectuals.

In response, Mill argues that intellectual pleasures outweigh physical pleasures for people who are well acquainted with both. A moralist, he maintained, could sum up the units of pleasure and the units of pain for everyone likely to be affected, immediately and in the future, and could take the balance as a measure of the overall good or evil tendency of an action.

This is the basic motivation for all actions, either directly or indirectly.

More examples involving Individual Rights Exploitation: Effects of utilitarianism in other fields The influence of utilitarianism has been widespread, permeating the intellectual life of the last two centuries.

We are motivated to seek pleasure and minimize pain. Some utilitarians, however, have sought to modify the utilitarian theory to account for the objections. Otherwise, the theory is falsified.

The Doctrine of Negative Responsibility 1. Even in limiting the recognition of intrinsic value and disvalue to happiness and unhappiness, some philosophers have argued that those feelings cannot adequately be further broken down into terms of pleasure and pain and have thus preferred to defend the theory in terms of maximizing happiness and minimizing unhappiness.

The central insight of utilitarianism, that one ought to promote happiness and prevent unhappiness whenever possible, seems undeniable. In its political philosophyutilitarianism bases the authority of government and the sanctity of individual rights upon their utility, thus providing an alternative to theories of natural lawnatural rights, or social contract.

Bentham himself said that he discovered the principle of utility in the 18th-century writings of various thinkers: Commonsense morality gives us good rules of thumb, but they are subordinate to the Greatest Happiness Principle. Criticisms One such criticism is that, although the widespread practice of lying and stealing would have bad consequences, resulting in a loss of trustworthiness and security, it is not certain that an occasional lie to avoid embarrassment or an occasional theft from a rich person would not have good consequences and thus be permissible or even required by utilitarianism.

If there is no error in calculation and all of the consequences have been taken into account, but there is still a discrepancy between what utilitarianism implies and what commonsense morality tells us, then so much the worse for commonsense morality.

The main objection is that utilitarianism can require distasteful means to achieve an end.May 28,  · Utilitarianism The basic idea behind utilitarianism is that a good action produces more happiness than pain but, it’s more complicated than it seems.

The justification for the theory is simple, human beings feel pleasure and pain. Basic Idea Of Utilitarianism.

Examine the key ideas of utilitarianism Utilitarianism is a relativist, consequentialist and teleological system of ethics based on the idea of ‘utility’.

This means usefulness and utilitarian suggest that everyone should be the most useful thing.


Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that concerns itself with the consequences of an action. It is widely considered the most famous form of consequentialist ethics.

A basic tenet, or belief, of utilitarianism is the idea of the Greatest Happiness Principle, or GHP.

There are three principles that serve as the basic axioms of utilitarianism. There are three principles that serve as the basic axioms of utilitarianism.

The Basic Principles of Utilitarianism. Search the site GO. Philosophy. Theories & Ideas Major Philosophers Utilitarians like Peter Singer take this idea of treating everyone equally.

Utilitarianism = Hedonism? Objection: There is more to life than pleasure; knowledge, virtue and other. things are important too. Utilitarianism is a doctrine worthy only of swine. Reply: Utilitarianism requires that we consider everyone’s pleasure, not just.

our own. Utilitarianism: Utilitarianism, in normative ethics, Basic concepts. In the notion of consequences the utilitarian includes all of the good and bad produced by the act, whether arising after the act has been performed or during its performance.

derived many of his ideas from Bentham.

Basic idea of utilitarianism
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