Utilitarianism and consequentialism as the most applicable approaches to ethics

Rather, at best, consequences help us determine which action is more in keeping with what is already our duty. Proponents of universalist theories include Philippa Foot and Rosalind Hursthouse.

Philosophers express this with greater precision: So, for example, one cannot determine the value of a body by adding up the value of its parts. Further, the rules which seem to be a fundamental part of common sense morality are often vague and underdescribed, and applying them will actually require appeal to something theoretically more basic — again, utilitarianism.

Consequentialist philosophers differ on whether practices that tend Utilitarianism and consequentialism as the most applicable approaches to ethics increase that which is morally good, but increase it less than an available alternative practice, can be called morally right.

In contrast, Haretries to derive his version of utilitarianism from substantively neutral accounts of morality, of moral language, and of rationality.

His complete list is the following: She is working toward a self-supporting life as an architect, so she exemplifies productiveness. This is an off-shoot of the different view of human nature adopted by Mill. So, the view that it is part of our very nature to make moral discriminations is very much in Hume.

Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics, Oxford: This kind of case leads some consequentialists to introduce agent-relativity into their theory of value SenBroomePortmore Another way to incorporate relations among values is to consider distribution.

A person should choose the act that does the least amount of harm to the greatest number of people. In case a positive reason is needed, consequentialists present a wide variety of arguments. Incommensurability, Incomparability, and Practical Reason, Cambridge: Ethical and Political Thinking, Oxford: Bentham, in contrast to Mill, represented the egoistic branch — his theory of human nature reflected Hobbesian psychological egoism.

An action is morally right if and only if it does not violate the set of rules of behaviour whose general acceptance in the community would have the best consequences--that is, at least as good as any rival set of rules or no rules at all.

Since classic utilitarianism reduces all morally relevant factors Kagan17—22 to consequences, it might appear simple.

The History of Utilitarianism

Closely related is eudaimonic consequentialism, according to which a full, flourishing life, which may or may not be the same as enjoying a great deal of pleasure, is the ultimate aim. Accomplishing this goal required a normative ethical theory employed as a critical tool. Unfortunately, negative utilitarianism also seems to imply that the government should painlessly kill everyone it can, since dead people feel no pain and have no false beliefs, diseases, or disabilities — though killing them does cause loss of ability cf.

This imperative, of course, is derived from consequential thinking: Common-Sense Morality and Consequentialism, London: Obviously, this framework is useful in situations that ask what sort of person one should be. Principles of chemistry can enable the development of life-saving and life-enhancing pharmaceuticals.

Sinnott-Armstrong b or built into public institutions Rawls Third, a moral principle is a categorical imperative that is universalizable; that is, it must be applicable for everyone who is in the same moral situation. Inherent in human life is the fact that time is limited.

If consequentialists define consequences in terms of what is caused unlike Sosathen which future events count as consequences is affected by which notion of causation is used to define consequences.


And thus a Utilitarian may reasonably desire, on Utilitarian principles, that some of his conclusions should be rejected by mankind generally; or even that the vulgar should keep aloof from his system as a whole, in so far as the inevitable indefiniteness and complexity of its calculations render it likely to lead to bad results in their hands.

Like virtue ethics, feminist ethics concerned with the totality of human life and how this life comes to influence the way we make ethical decisions.

Ethics Theories: Utilitarianism Vs. Deontological Ethics

If it is morally wrong to do anything other than what maximizes utility, then it is morally wrong for me to buy the shoes. Practical Ethics, Second Edition. It thus avoids the logical circle of: Is it all humans? For each individual, who is making moral decisions and acting, this means his own life is his own standard of right and wrong.

Objectivism accepts the obvious truth that humans are not omniscient, and so cannot predict all the exact consequences of their actions in advance. Advocates of these theories often call them consequentialism rather than utilitarianism so that their theories will not be subject to refutation by association with the classic utilitarian theory.A Framework for Making Ethical Decisions; A Framework for Making Ethical Decisions.

Below is a sample of some of the most important and useful of these ethical approaches. i.) Consequentialist Theories: One variation of the utilitarian approach is known as ethical egoism, or the ethics of self-.

Explore the consequentialist theories of ethical egoism and utilitarianism and test your understanding with a brief quiz. Consequentialism When you were a child, your parents tried to teach you.

A Framework for Making Ethical Decisions

Consequentialism is usually contrasted with deontological ethics (or deontology), in that deontology, in which rules and moral duty are central, derives the rightness or wrongness of one's conduct from the character of the behaviour itself rather than the outcomes of the conduct.

Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that determines right from wrong by focusing on outcomes. It is a form of consequentialism.

Utilitarianism holds that the most ethical choice is the one that will produce the greatest good for the greatest number. Ethical Theories Summarized & Explained: Consequentialism, Deontology, Virtue Ethics, and Objectivist Ethical Egoism By far the most common historical variant of consequentialism is Classic Utilitarianism.

Classic Utilitarianism was advocated by such philosophers as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. We saw that consequentialism. The following is an excerpt from article DE from the Christian Research Institute.

The full pdf can be viewed by clicking here. Ethics Theories- Utilitarianism Vs. Deontological Ethics There are two major ethics theories that attempt to specify and justify moral rules and principles: utilitarianism and deontological ethics.

Utilitarianism (also called consequentialism) is a moral [ ].

Utilitarianism and consequentialism as the most applicable approaches to ethics
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