bentham + kant (bentham's act utilitarianism (pleasure + pain is…
bentham + kant
bentham's act utilitarianism
"in any situation, one should choose the action that maximises utility"
decisions about wrong and right are made for particular actions in particular situations (rather than applying general moral principles).
people are motivated to
seek pleasure+ to avoid pain
(both for themselves + those who they care about) - he looked at how people behaved + what motivated them to make the choices they did.
nature has placed mankind under the governance of 2 sovereign masters, pain + pleasure"
bentham's conscience led him to the conclusion that everyone has an equal right to happiness - he was opposed to privilege.
it reflects bentham's social + political views. it's democratic (it treated everyone alike) + this contrasted the conventional social and legal rules - benefits those in power
offers a scientific approach to morality - once benefit could be quantified, it could be apportioned on that basis, once the decision was taken that the right thing was to maximise happiness, his principle of utility seemed to offer a clear way in which that decision could be applied.
the desire to pursue pleasure + to avoid pain leads us to the
principle of utility
- bentham believed that things should judge to be right or wrong according to whether or not they benefited the people involved.
pleasure + pain is calculate using the
(how strong is the pleasure)
(how long does it last?)
(how soon will the pleasure happen)
(how likely it is that the action will produce similar pleasures in the future)
he wanted to have a rational, evidential basis for his moral, legal + political choices
applied it also to animals + infant since pain + pleasure is measurable (as well to animals)
bentham thought that to issue otherwise is ignorance.
many animals are more intelligence than humans + more rational and conservable than any baby.
animals should be treated as members of the moral community
the calculus is looking to establish whether an act has a balance of pleasure over pain. if it does, then the act is good.