Latimer Summary The case study is about Mr. He who saves a fellow creature from drowning does what is morally right, whether his motive be duty, or the hope of being paid for his trouble. This article focuses on perhaps the most important dividing line among utilitarians, the clash between act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. Evidence: I as well as, in all likelihood, other people, experience events that bring with them some ethical connotation. Bentham is not unaware of this tension.
Mill did not blame the working classes for their comparative inferiority, and he did not regard their inferiority as a natural or permanent condition. The key difference between act and rule utilitarianism is that act utilitarians apply the utilitarian principle directly to the evaluation of individual actions while rule utilitarians apply the utilitarian principle directly to the evaluation of rules and then evaluate individual actions by seeing if they obey or disobey those rules whose acceptance will produce the most utility. This introduces a second-order sanction, whose rightness we can now ask about. We do not call anything wrong unless we mean to imply that a person ought to be punished in some way or other for doing it—if not by law, by the opinion of his fellow creatures; if not by opinion, by the reproaches of his own conscience. Shaftesbury approached moral evaluation via the virtues and vices. If there are two or more options with the greatest total, we are free to select any of these.
Arguments for Act Utilitarianism i. The sense of justice, for example, results from very natural impulses. His first chapter serves as an introduction to the essay. This is because everyone's happiness counts the same. Mill considers a large list of potential natural differences, not restricted to deficits and disqualifiers, including claims that women are 1 more intuitive and practical, less principled and theoretical, than men 305 , 2 more focused on particulars, less capable of abstraction or generalization, than men 306 , 3 more nervous and excitable than men 308 , 4 less single-minded than men 310 , 5 less accomplished in philosophy, science, and art than men 313—14 , 6 less original than men 314—15 , 7 morally superior to men 320—21 , 8 more susceptible to personal bias than men 321 , 9 more pacific and less aggressive than men 329—30 , 10 more philanthropic than men 330 , and 11 more self-sacrificing and self-abnegating than men 293.
By contrast, the New Liberals thought that these reforms that extended economic, social, and political liberties had to be supplemented by social and economic reforms in areas of labor, education, and health designed to redress the effects of inequality. These objections seem so serious and so obvious that they should make us wonder if there is a more plausible interpretation of his proof. He was a pluralist, rather than a monist, regarding intrinsic value. The second type of sanction, internal sanctions, stems from one's conscience; these consist of feelings in one's own mind that create discomfort when one violates duty. The key point is that while rule utilitarianism permits partiality toward some people, it can also generate rules that limit the ways in which people may act partially and it might even support a positive duty for well off people to provide assistance to strangers when the needs and interests of people to whom we are partial are fully met, when they have surplus resources that could be used to assist strangers in dire conditions, and when there are ways to channel these resources effectively to people in dire need. Mill does not object to moralistic or paternalistic legislation that can also be defended by appeal to the harm principle. The well-being of the group is simply the sum total of the interests of the all of its members.
To some this seems to mean that Mill really wasn't a hedonistic utilitarian. Second, even well intentioned rulers will misidentify the good of citizens. It is not possible for absentee parents or strangers to provide individual children with all that they need. But he gives no reason for thinking that women should have families or that, if they do, they, rather than their husbands, should be responsible for matters domestic. Mill does allow some forms of offense regulation designed to prevent public indecency. Virtue ethics does not focus primarily on moral rules e.
Hutcheson was committed to maximization, it seems. Archived from on 5 April 2011. Utilitarianism is too idealist and not realist enough, and 2. The fact that Mill thinks Samaritan laws can be squared with the harm principle I 11 is evidence that he understands the harm principle in terms of harm prevention. The best action is the one that procures the greatest happiness of the greatest numbers—and the worst is the one that causes the most misery. These are reasonably strong consequentialist arguments against giving the state a broad discretionary power to engage in paternalistic legislation whenever it sees fit. In the end, utilitarians say, it is justice and rights that give way when rules that approve of violations in some cases yield the greatest amount of utility.
We should praise good motives and blame bad ones because they are good or bad, not because such acts of praising and blaming produce good consequences. But, from the moral point of view, pain cannot be outweighed by pleasure, and especially not one man's pain by another man's pleasure. Nothing that we can do to it could possibly make any difference to its welfare. Second, humans should be treated as objects of intrinsic moral value; that is, as ends in themselves and never as a mere means to some other end say, overall happiness or welfare. So interpreted, the Proportionality Doctrine would espouse a form of rule utilitarianism.
Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1971. That would give us the total amount of net pleasure or pain associated with each option. The main principle of the utilitarian moral theory is not flawed. This is apparent in the pre-eminent value Mill assigns to diversity and experimentation in life-style. It seems as if masochists or selfless altruists might fail to desire their own happiness for its own sake. Social Research, Special Issue: Rationality, Choice, and Morality. Apart from restating that happiness as an end is grounded in the nature of God, Paley also discusses the place of rules.