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23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 1. Utilitarianism

[belief that good is maximising happiness]

30 ideas
The happiness of individuals is linked to the happiness of everyone (which is individuals taken together) [Cumberland]
The happiness of all contains the happiness of each, and promotes it [Cumberland]
That action is best, which procures the greatest happiness for the greatest number [Hutcheson]
Virtue just requires careful calculation and a preference for the greater happiness [Hume]
Ethics rests on utility, which is the permanent progressive interests of people [Mill]
The English believe in the task of annihilating evil for the victory of good [Nietzsche on Mill]
Mill's qualities of pleasure is an admission that there are other good states of mind than pleasure [Ross on Mill]
Actions are right if they promote pleasure, wrong if they promote pain [Mill]
Utilitarianism only works if everybody has a totally equal right to happiness [Mill]
It is self-evident (from the point of view of the Universe) that no individual has more importance than another [Sidgwick]
In Homer it is the contemptible person, not the harmful person, who is bad [Nietzsche]
If pain were instrinsically wrong, it would be immoral to inflict it on ourselves [Prichard]
Relationships imply duties to people, not merely the obligation to benefit them [Ross on Moore,GE]
We should use money to pay debts before giving to charity [Ross]
In later utilitarianism the modern stress on freedom leads to the rejection of paternalism [Taylor,C]
Utilitarianism inappropriately scales up the individual willingness to make sacrifices [Nagel on Rawls]
Since Moore thinks the right action produces the most good, he is a utilitarian [MacIntyre]
Satisfaction of desires is not at all the same as achieving happiness [PG on Glover]
We should focus less on subjects of experience, and more on the experiences themselves [Parfit]
Utilitarianism is not a decision-procedure; choice of the best procedure is an open question [Kymlicka]
One view says start with equality, and infer equal weight to interests, and hence maximum utility [Kymlicka]
A second view says start with maximising the good, implying aggregation, and hence equality [Kymlicka]
We should do good when necessary, not maximise it [Annas]
Utilitarianism is wrong precisely because it can't distinguish animals from people [Scruton]
Utilitarianism says we can't blame Stalin yet, but such a theory is a sick joke [Scruton]
Morality is not a sort of calculation, it is what sets the limits to when calculation is appropriate [Scruton]
Utilitarianism merely guides us (by means of sympathy) when the moral law is silent [Scruton]
Preference utilitarianism aims to be completely value-free, or empirical [Hursthouse]
We are torn between utilitarian and deontological views of lying, depending on the examples [Hursthouse]
Deontologists usually accuse utilitarians of oversimplifying hard cases [Hursthouse]