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Collections of Essays 1. Overall View Utilitarianism is a philosophical view or theory about how we should evaluate a wide range of things that involve choices that people face. Among the things that can be evaluated are actions, laws, policies, character traits, and moral codes.
Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism because it rests on the idea that it is the consequences or results of actions, laws, policies, etc.
In general, whatever is being evaluated, we ought to choose the one that will produce the best overall results. Utilitarianism appears to be a simple theory because it consists of only one evaluative principle: Do what produces the best consequences.
In fact, however, the theory is complex because we cannot understand that single principle unless we know at least three things: Jeremy Bentham answered this question by adopting the view called hedonism.
According to hedonism, the only thing that is good in itself is pleasure or happiness. Likewise, on the negative side, a lack of food, friends, or freedom is instrumentally bad because it produces pain, suffering, and unhappiness; but pain, suffering and unhappiness are intrinsically bad, i.
Many thinkers have rejected hedonism because pleasure and pain are sensations that we feel, claiming that many important goods are not types of feelings. Being healthy or honest or having knowledge, for example, are thought by some people to be intrinsic goods that are not types of feelings.
Other thinkers see desires or preferences as the basis of value; whatever a person desires is valuable to that person. If desires conflict, then the things most strongly preferred are identified as good.
This debate will not be further discussed in this article. Utilitarian reasoning can be used for many different purposes. It can be used both for moral reasoning and for any type of rational decision-making.
In addition to applying in different contexts, it can also be used for deliberations about the interests of different persons and groups. When individuals are deciding what to do for themselves alone, they consider only their own utility.
For example, if you are choosing ice cream for yourself, the utilitarian view is that you should choose the flavor that will give you the most pleasure. If you enjoy chocolate but hate vanilla, you should choose chocolate for the pleasure it will bring and avoid vanilla because it will bring displeasure.
In addition, if you enjoy both chocolate and strawberry, you should predict which flavor will bring you more pleasure and choose whichever one will do that. Because Bentham and other utilitarians were interested in political groups and public policies, they often focused on discovering which actions and policies would maximize the well-being of the relevant group.
Their method for determining the well-being of a group involved adding up the benefits and losses that members of the group would experience as a result of adopting one action or policy. The well-being of the group is simply the sum total of the interests of the all of its members.
To illustrate this method, suppose that you are buying ice cream for a party that ten people will attend. Your only flavor options are chocolate and vanilla, and some of the people attending like chocolate while others like vanilla. As a utilitarian, you should choose the flavor that will result in the most pleasure for the group as a whole.ashio-midori.com Introduce claim(s) about a topic or issue, acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, .
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Goal or Aim of the Research. A toolbox for analysing political texts. Discourse analysis is a useful tool for studying the political meanings that inform written and spoken text. In other posts, I have provided a quick video introduction to the topic, and have discussed the ideas behind discourse theory, the main questions that students and researchers will likely ask as they set up their discourse analysis project, and.
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