Utilitarianism is a Form of Consequentialism Essay

Utilitarianism is a Form of Consequentialism Essay

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Current utilitarianism was created by mixing Jeremy Bentham’s account for utilitarianism and John Stuart Mill’s account for utilitarianism. Jeremy Bentham’s account for utilitarianism focused on pleasure. He defined utilitarianism by recognizing the fundamental role of pain and pleasure, approving or disproving the actions based on the amount of pain or pleasure brought on by the consequences, equating good with pleasure and evil with pain, and in return measuring whether pleasure exceeded pain. This means that Bentham’s utilitarianism takes an event and determines whether or not it should occur based on the pleasure or pain that it will bring. His idea is to maximize the pleasure and minimize the pain that is brought upon by choosing an event. In John Stuart Mill’s account for utilitarianism he used Bentham’s approach but changed the term pleasure to happiness (Cavalier, “Utilitarian Theories”). According to Aristotle, happiness is more personal than pleasure. By this he means that happiness arises from the soul while pleasure arises from an event or activity (Kaurt, “Aristotle on Pleasure”). By Mill changing Bentham’s definition of utilitarianism he allowed the measurement of what is considered to be a good decision to have a more personal affect.
Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism. It is a moral theory that allows a person to look at all of the possible outcomes and choose the outcome that they believe will bring about the most happiness to the most amount of people. This means that the moral theory is not black and white like other moral theories, for example, Kantism. This moral theory relies on the person deciding on the outcome that is the best for the situation (“Utilitarianism”).
According to Mill’s utilitaria...


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...appiness and pleasure within the world. Utilitarianism allows the world to be seen in all of its shades of grey while still allowing a person to make a decision that is morally sound. This is what make utilitarianism stand out from the rest of the moral theories. I believe that utilitarianism is a sound moral theory.



Works Cited

Cavalier, Robert, Dr. "Utilitarian Theories." Online Guide to Ethics and Moral Philosophy. N.p., 2002. Web. 25 Apr. 2014.

Kaurt, Richard. "Aristotle on Pleasure." Aristotle on Pleasure. Philosophy.lander.edu, 9 Oct. 2009. Web. 25 Apr. 2014

Pojman, Louis P. “Strengths and Weaknesses of Utilitarianism.” Exploring Ethics. Ed. Steven M. Cahn. Third ed. New York: Oxford UP, 2009. 126-134. Print.

"Utilitarianism." California State University, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2014. .

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