Normative Ethics & Utilitarianism

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Normative Ethics & Utilitarianism by Mind Map: Normative Ethics & Utilitarianism

1. Normative Ethics There is deception in the history of ethics because of the continuity of language. How can you evaluate the plurality of moral practices, beliefs, conceptual schemes - and from what stand point. Core hypothesis of After Virtue by McIntyre: 1.Contemporary language of morality contain surviving fragments (fossils such as duty, obligation, ought) 2.Different systems recommend incompatible courses of action (on war, human rights, social action) There re 3 flaws in modern moral philosophy. 1.Lacks adequate moral psychology. 2.Moral obligation/ought are survivals from earlier ethical conception. 3.Insignificant difference on ethical writings 3 features of moral debate today 1.Conceptual incommensurability. 2.Ungenuine claims to impersonal rational arguments. 3.Premises have wide variety of historical origins. Moral theory and practice embody genuine objective and impersonal standards. The enlightenment project (Failed) - justifications of moral belief, find rational grounding for moral norms. Morality - rules of conduct which are not theological/legal/aesthetic Moral debate is now seen as a confrontation between incompatible/incommensurable moral premises. New conception of reason emerges (Hume, Kant)- the elimination of any notion of essence or telos Modern moral philosophy - Conceived of as sovereign and autonomous; freed from hierarchy and teleology. The new rules of morality will seem to be instruments of individual desire and will Vindicate moral rules by devising new teleology (utility) or new categorical status (Kant - moral rules grounded in the nature of practical reason. 3 core ethical Q's: Classical (telos), Modern (Justification, rationality), Post-modern (Why be moral? Rational. Why then be rational?)

2. Utilitarianism Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) Principle of the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people - obligation to serve general happiness Hedonism - Apprehension of Pain and desire for pleasure. Principle of utility recognises subjection of right and wrong and causes and effects. Pain and pleasure: final cause of individual action, efficient cause and means to individual happiness J.S.Mill (1806-1873) Added idea of higher and lower pleasure to utilitarianism (some kinds of pleasure are more desirable/valuable than others. Greatest happiness principle - exempt from pain and rich as possible in enjoyment (in Quant/Qual). The standard for utility is not the agents own but the amount of happiness altogether. The pleasure of the greatest number and what is right in conduct is that of all concerned. Utilitarianism requires of the individual to be impartial but benevolent. JSMill's own life was an experiment in living. Mill redefined utility to be conceived of in the largest possible sense. An ultimate appeal grounded in the permanent interests of man as a progressive being. Modern utility is backed by Chappell (maximalism+welfare+aggregationalism+consequentialism) Anscombe backed consequentialism and rejected moral absolutes as all actions can be justified in some circumstances Singer says that we do not have internal reasons to bring about the general happiness but that we do have external reasons. Why not line them up? Finn criticises U by saying 1. that proposal is senseless due to incommensurability of goods. 2.Since it is unknowable it is irrational to adopt it Bernard Williams on Integrity - best outcome may lead to violations of personal integrity Peter Singer - Effective Altruism - we ought to do the most good we can, sensitive to numbers