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Utilitarianism and Peter Singer

by: Thomas nelson

Utilitarianism and Peter Singer PHL 2008

Marketplace > High Point University > PHIL-Philosophy > PHL 2008 > Utilitarianism and Peter Singer
Thomas nelson

GPA 3.5
Social Ethics
Thaddeus M. Ostrowski

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About this Document

These notes cover the week of February 21, 2016.
Social Ethics
Thaddeus M. Ostrowski
Class Notes
Social Ethics
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This 0 page Class Notes was uploaded by Thomas nelson on Friday February 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHL 2008 at High Point University taught by Thaddeus M. Ostrowski in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Social Ethics in PHIL-Philosophy at High Point University.


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Date Created: 02/26/16
Thomas Nelson Re ective Equilibrium Bringing into alignment our judgments in particular cases with our re ective principles 0 Socrates objection to Cephalus definition of justice telling the truth and repaying debts gt giving a weapon back to a mad man Ancient president Epicurus 341270 BC Developed by Jeremy Bentham 17481832 Revised by John Stuart Mill 18061873 Epicureanism 0 Like Utilitarianism a form of philosophical hedonism I Hedon is Greek word for pleasure 0 Not crasscrude about avoiding distress and achieving a stable state of balanced pleasure avoiding highs and lows Motive gt Act gt CONSEQUENCES Morality of an act is not determined by intentionsmotives nor can we know from the act itself whether it is morally rightjustified the ends justify the means Happiness Pleasure 0 The only intrinsic good all other goods are instrumental they are desirable because they are useful for promoting happiness Kinds of pleasure 0 Physical eating sex 0 Personal satisfaction of a job well done 0 Aesthetic appreciation off beauty music 0 Intellectual rush of getting it gt Eureka Not an egoistic theory Everyone affected by some action is to be counted equally and our own happiness counts no more than others The standard is not the agent s own greatest happiness but the greatest amount of happiness altogether We may even have to sacrifice our own happiness if to do so increases totaloverall happiness Calculating the greatest amount of happiness 0 5 criteria I Net amount of pleasurehappiness I Its intensity circumstances I Its duration I Its fruitfulness can the pleasure grow gt Learning a language learning to play an instrument I Likelihood of outcome how likely is act to produce anticipated pleasure 2 objections to Utilitarianism Thomas Nelson 0 O O 0 Individual rights I Throwing Christians to lions I Torture I Ursula K LeGuin s city of happiness Common currency of value I Benefits of lung cancer gt More profitable for government to let people smoke and die of lung cancer I Exploding gas tanks the Ford Pinto gt Cheaper to pay out settlements than to pay the 11 per car to fix the problem I Discount for seniors on life insurance I Gain for pay put price on cut off toe eat worm live in Kansas kill cat with bare hands gt Does everything have a price I St Anne s girls boys staying overnight Reply to first objection the case of liberty I Are freedoms and rights socially useful I Can only restrict freedom if it impinges on freedom of another I Character matters Reply to second objection higher pleasures I The Singer Solution to World Poverty 0 0 1st premise Suffering is bad 2nd premise If it s in your power to stop something bad without sacrificing anything nearly as important it s wrong not to do so 3rd premise By donating you can stop suffering without sacrificing anything important Conclusion Therefore if you don t donate to aid agencies you are doing something wrong Must give until giving causes you more suffering than it benefits others


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