- Act utilitarianism
Act utilitarianism is a
utilitariantheory of ethicswhich states that the morally right action is the one which produces the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people. Act utilitarianism is opposed to rule utilitarianism, which states that the morally right action is the one that is in accordance with a moral rule whose general observance would create the most happiness. Act utilitarianism makes no appeals to general rules, but instead demands that the agent evaluate individual circumstances.
Utilitarianism is a
consequentialisttheory, which means that it stipulates that the morality of an action is determined by its outcome. (This is opposed to deontology, which argues that moral actions should flow from duties or motives.) This consequentialismis then combined with philosophical hedonism, which posits happiness or pleasure as the ultimate worthwhile pursuit. Therefore, since only the consequences of an action matter, and only happiness matters, then the morally correct action in any situation is the one that results in the greatest sum of happiness or pleasure.
John Stuart Mill
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Utilitarianism — • A modern form of the Hedonistic ethical theory which teaches that the end of human conduct is happiness, and that consequently the discriminating norm which distinguishes conduct into right and wrong is pleasure and pain Catholic Encyclopedia.… … Catholic encyclopedia
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utilitarianism — n. an ethical theory holding that utility is morally important and should always be maximized. There are different definitions of utility but all relate to the consequences of actions as opposed to the intentions or principles behind them (see… … The new mediacal dictionary
Two-level utilitarianism — is a utilitarian theory of ethics developed by R. M. Hare.cite book |last=McNaughton |first=David A. |title=Moral Vision |year=1988 |publisher=Blackwell Publishing |pages=177 |isbn=0631159452] According to the theory, a person s moral decisions… … Wikipedia
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