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On Utilitarianism

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Explain the main principles of Utilitarianism. Identify and describe at least two arguments, both for and against the Utilitarian approach. Cite sources!!

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The solution is a 1,029-word tutorial module that explains the principles behind the ethical theory of Utilitarianism. Arguments for and against it are also include. references are listed to allow room for expansion/further research. A word version of the solution is attached for printing and easy download/digital use.

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On Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism (from the Latin Word utilis - meaning usefulness) is an ethical theory that proposes that the moral worth of an action is determined by its effectiveness and usefulness maximising the positives and minimizing the negatives. In other words, it is all about 'the greater good'. The most prominent contributors to this theory are John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham whose ideas on utilitarianism were shaped by their views of political theory and social order. The former was the proponent of the utilitarianist idea of 'the greatest-happiness' while the latter was his 'Panominiom' - a code of law based on the principle of the greatest good'. In its simplest form, utilitarianism is a consequentialist (teleological) ethical theory in which the result of the action matters most. But utilitarianism itself has 2 expressions. One is 'Act utilitarianism' in which people must consider the results of the choices or potential action. Whatever consequence maximizes benefits and minimizes the negatives should be the likely moral choice. The other is 'Rule Utilitarianism', to determine the moral worth of an action, the rules towards a particular situation or action is reviewed and determined whether or not said rules contribute towards the greater good or end up minimizing the utility of an action contributing negatively to the ...

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  • MPhil/PhD (IP), Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • MA, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • Certificate, Geva Ulpan (via Universita Tel Aviv)
  • BA, University of the Philippines
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