Utilitarianism started out from the basic assumption by bentham that man desires pleasure and seeks to avoid painthis basic assumption can be challenged, as it seems to be wrong in at least some cases. Utilitarianism is one of the most powerful and persuasive approaches to normative ethics in the history of philosophy though not fully articulated until the 19 th century, proto-utilitarian positions can be discerned throughout the history of ethical theory.
Jeremy bentham was an english philosopher and political radical he is primarily known today for his moral philosophy, especially his principle of utilitarianism, which evaluates actions based upon their consequences the relevant consequences, in particular, are the overall happiness created for. Whereas bentham established an act utilitarianism, logic rather than an adherence to biblical principles guides the ethical decision-making of a utilitarian. Act utilitarianism states that laws and rules can be broken if they lead to happiness this is a problem in some moral dilemmas as applying act utilitarianism can be used to justify immoral actions. There are two forms of utilitarianism: act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism act utilitarianism is the standard form, which considers all paths of the action that lead to immediate and long-term happiness, as well has the magnitude and how long the happiness will last.
Utilitarianism states that people should maximise human welfare or well-being (which they used to call 'utility' - hence the name) hedonism states that people should maximise human pleasure. According to bentham, pleasure and pain govern not only how human beings act but also how human beings ought to act the principle of utility or the principle of utilitarianism : i ought do that act which will bring about the greatest happiness (pleasure) for the greatest number of persons (the community. The difference has been characterized since mill as act utilitarianism (bentham, where we must evaluate each act) and rule utilitarianism (mill, where we conform to rules that have shown overall to bring about the greatest amount of good. Consequentialism, as its name suggests, is the view that normative properties depend only on consequences this general approach can be applied at different levels to different normative properties of different kinds of things, but the most prominent example is consequentialism about the moral rightness of acts, which holds that whether an act is morally right depends only on the consequences. Act utilitarianism sees the consequence of an action in itself (as one act) whereas rule utilitarianism sees the consequences as if it will be repeated all over again (for the long term) act utilitarianism first looks into the consequences of an act.
Yardstick - can be used to measure if a new law has a positive impact in society weaknesses counter intuitive consequences - bc bentham believes all pleasure is equal so a doctor if faced with organ shortages could be justified for killing one healthy patient to save the lives of five people. Utilitarianism can be divided into two classes: act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism act utilitarianism is linked to jeremy bentham, moral decisions are decisions that are based upon consequences of each individual situation in relation to the total amount of happiness that they produce. People can experience higher pleasures without much thought, people's intentions and attitudes are of more importance than utilitarianism gives credit 3 parts of bentham's ethical system pleasure and pain is a moral fact on what is right & wrong, principle of utility & hedonic calculus. Act and rule utilitarianism can be used for many different purposes it can be used both for moral reasoning and for any type of rational decision-making in. It can be thought of as a hybrid between act and rule utilitarianism, but it also attempts to take into account how human beings actually function psychologically total utilitarianism advocates measuring the utility of a population based on the total utility of its members.
A generation later, utilitarianism found its most effective exponent in john stuart millraised by his father, the philosopher james mill, on strictly benthamite principles, mill devoted his life to the defence and promotion of the general welfare. Explain how bentham's act utilitarianism can be used in making moral decisions by altcereid20 jeremy bentham was a philosopher, economist, atheist and social reformer being a social reformer means that bentham worked to make a gradual change to society. Consequentialism and utilitarianism are commonly used in decision making it is natural and logical for a person to think of the consequences of their actions before acting however, these ethical theories have their weaknesses and should perhaps be applied in combination with other normative ethical frameworks.
Mill defines utilitarianism asthe creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, utilitarianism, or the greatest happiness principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.