Please join StudyMode to read the full document. Utilitarianism as an ethical theory Utilitarianism is the view that an act is right if it equals the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. Utilitarians describe moral actions as actions that boost something good and lessen something that is bad. Virtue, knowledge, and goodwill are all good but they are only good if they give people a pleasurable existence. Pain is the only thing that is intrinsically bad. Utilitarians focus on the result of an act instead of the inherent nature of the act.
Hume proved his claim by first disproving reason as the foundation of morality, then proving sentiment as the true foundation of morality. Thereupon, Hume specified sympathy as the sentiment forming the basis of morality by claiming that sentiments of moral approval and disapproval are caused by the functions of sympathy. The reason was due to the practical nature of morality. Strangely enough, as reason does not provoke people into action, it was unable to be the cause of moral conduct. Background Kantian ethics are based around the idea of duty Velleman Kant believes that everyone has a duty to act morally and do the right thing. What Kant means by duty is simply a practical requirement Velleman
Utilitarianism theory was developed first by Jeremy Bentham. His student John Stuart Mill who is the most famous Utilitarian then took on this theory. America had fought for and gained their independence from the British to obtain their freedom and greater democracy. The Declaration of independence of the 13 colonies. Utilitarianism This was written in responce to the following questions: What is the principle of utility?
Utilitarianism also known as consequentialism is a theory that focuses on the consequences of human actions. Theorists who follow utilitarianism believe that everyone ought to act as to bring the most happiness for the greatest number of people. In other words, the correct moral solution is the solution that has the most positive outcomes with the least negative ones. The process of decision making can be seen as very mechanical, calculations are made in order to determine the best outcome. Utilitarianism relies on all followers agreeing on a set list of general rules.