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2answers
51 views

What is the difference between Rule Utilitarianism and Act Utilitarianism?

Based on the definitions given by Wikipedia , Rule Utilitarianism and Act Utilitarianism both seems to imply the same meaning Rule Utilitarianism Action is right as it conforms to a rule that ...
0
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1answer
23 views

Who said “we need to make more people happy, not more happy people”

A bumper-sticker version of things like person-affecting views is: We need to make more people happy, not more happy people I'm sure I didn't come up with this, but re-reading through people ...
1
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1answer
41 views

Where online can I find arguments for preference utilitarianism?

I'm looking for (emphasis on) open access arguments for preference utilitarianism over hedonistic (or other alternative forms) of utilitarianism. Here's the current list (I don't have enough rep to ...
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2answers
44 views

Does Risk Aversion cause Diminishing Marginal Utility, or vice versa?

Let A be the set of possible states of the world, or possible preferences a person could have. Let G(A) be the set of "gambles" or "lotteries", i.e. the set of probability distributions over A. Then ...
6
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3answers
138 views

Assessing the Ethics of Building Unsafe Structures

While doing a Ethics for Engineer's subunit (a few months ago), I came up with the follow problem, and have been wondering about it since. As an Engineer, you may be asked to build a water treatment ...
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1answer
93 views

How to use Act-Utilitarianism

I have the following case: John Smith, M.D., is a psychiatrist with a private practice. He has been extremely successful in helping child-abusing parents. Many of his clients have sent him others; ...
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1answer
125 views

Philosophical school of thought that negative experiece levels are set for an individual?

Is there a philosophical school of thought that states (to some effect) the level of negative experience for each individual is set throughout a persons life time, regardless of the change in life ...
6
votes
1answer
94 views

Temporally stable determination of value in consequentialism

If one is a consequentialist, one at least implicitly makes decisions based on how good or bad the consequences are. As such, you must implicitly have a function f that maps from the set of ...
4
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3answers
676 views

Argument against Singer's analogy of the pond

Peter Singer gave a famous argument in Famine, Affluence and Morality that made an analogy between saving a drowning child in a pond at the expense of getting your clothes wet, and donating the ...
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1answer
101 views

Christmas Dilemma

The Christmas Dilemma: Suppose there are 2 children siblings and 3 Christmas presents. 2 Christmas presents have a value of $20 and 1 Christmas present has a value of $200. Each child can be given ...
0
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2answers
201 views

Is there a name for the philosophy of increasing happiness more than reducing it is the only moral good?

I recently answered this question on the ethical duty to help educate others, where I wrote: I feel like if a person increases "happiness" more in his life then he decreases the "happiness" then ...
3
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2answers
233 views

Is there an utilitarian stance on top-down utility maximization?

Frequently, utilitarian ethics are presented from the point of view of individual decision-making, that is, the maximization of the "pleasure less suffering" function which underlyies rational choice ...
3
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1answer
683 views

How did Mill resolve tensions in Utilitarianism and Liberalism concerning the public/private distinction?

J. S. Mill is well known as an intellectual father of both Utilitarianism and Liberalism, but I was thinking recently about a tension between these lines of thought and wondered if he ever addressed ...
3
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2answers
296 views

What are the standard responses to this criticism of utilitarianism?

Might not someone else's utility or preferences about what people do infringe upon what's ordinarily taken as right to liberty or privacy? For example, if there were someone who just found it ...
4
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2answers
296 views

Is property an absolute or utilitarian right?

It seems to me that property cannot be considered an intrinsic part of human nature, not in the way life is, for example. Property defines a relationship between two objects that only has a basis in ...
6
votes
4answers
473 views

Which ethical philosophy is concerned with maximizing expected universal good?

Take this ethical belief: "People should act such that they, upon considering with a reasonable amount of effort related to the significance of the decision, believe that they will maximize the good ...
4
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1answer
163 views

Utilitarianism and adding more people

How does utilitarianism deal with adding more people? (Question updated to include total utilitarianism) Firstly, suppose we are using average utilitarianism. Suppose everyone in the world is super ...
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4answers
200 views

Can any system of ethics be reconstructed in utilitarian terms? [closed]

According to Dimo414: It seems to me that in a sense utilitarianism is a meta-ethic. I would claim that any ethical system can be reconstructed - without changing it's meaning or ...
7
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2answers
127 views

What is the justification for averaging utility in utilitarianism?

Every time I have heard utilitarianism discussed, it is generally assumed that utility should be averaged. While this sounds reasonable, the reasoning isn't particularly strong. What justifications ...
8
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1answer
933 views

What is a straight-forward method for distinguishing pragmatic from utilitarian action or thought?

In common parlance, pragmatic and utilitarian are very similar ways of doing things. In philosophical traditions, Utilitarians and Pragmatists are very different. In terms of understanding an action ...
5
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3answers
202 views

Resolving weighting conflicts in preference utilitarianism

Assuming we're dealing with the actions of two people based on the preferences of two non overlapping sets of affected people, other than the number of people, which methods are available to resolve ...
10
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2answers
191 views

How has neuroscience characterized classic Benthamite utilitiarian reasoning in situations like the trolley problem?

With regards to the famous trolley problem, I know that neuroscientists have largely found people believe it is morally wrong to flip the switch to kill one man in order to save five strangers. I ...