Measurement Theory And The Foundations Of Utilitarianism Essay

August 20, 2017

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There are several theories which have been put frontward by scientists to explicate the actions of human existences and why people tend to act in certain ways. One of the theories which have been put frontward is the theory of utilitarianism ( Weymark. 527-55 ) . Utilitarianism is an ethical theory put frontward by John Stuart Mill whereby he supports the value of utilitarianism in the society. Utilitarianism as describe by Mill is that it is a moral theory that is chiefly based on the rule or position that “actions are right in proportion as they tend to advance felicity. incorrect as they tend to bring forth the contrary of happiness” ( Mill. 8 ) . Happiness which originates from the actions undertaken by an person is defined as the “absence of hurting. ”

Furthermore. harmonizing to Mills. there is difference in pleasance in footings of the quality every bit good as the measure of pleasance that an person may see. Higher modules. as observed by Mill. supply greater pleasance as compared to pleasure from baser modules ( Burgess-Jackson. 529-47 ) . Furthermore. Mill observed that the accomplishment of ends by people every bit good as terminals such as good life style is frequently counted as portion of the felicity that those people enjoy ( Mill. 8 ) .

In add-on. utilitarianism is considered as the rule of the Greatest Happiness whereby any actions that an single undertakes are considered to be right every bit long as they generate relative felicity to the person ( Mill. 8 ) . If the actions by an single alternatively of advancing felicity consequence in the antonym. that is pain. so the actions are deemed to be incorrect. Human existences perform different actions with an purpose of bring forthing satisfaction which in bend generates happiness. For illustration. when an person takes up a occupation. the individual expects to be paid for the work done and the payment received in bend helps the individual to populate a comfy life ( Mill. 8 ) . Therefore. the action of working is right since the terminal consequence is good life for the individual which means felicity. If the action of obtaining employment does non bring forth benefit but alternatively enduring for the individual. so the action of being employed is considered as incorrect because the terminal consequence will be hurting and agony for the individual.

The effect of the actions that one undertakes is of great importance and is what affairs under utilitarianism unlike the action itself ( Weymark. 527-55 ) . Any action. event. circumstance or even an experience is desirable for human existences if the concluding or end consequence or effect is that it will take to happiness ( Mill. 8 ) . Another illustration is in matrimony. Peoples get married since the terminal consequence of being in a matrimony is considered to be happiness and hence matrimony within any given society is considered as a good action and ever celebrated ( Woodard. 246-65 ) . On the other manus. decease is an event in the life of human existences but the terminal consequence of it is pain to the people that are bereaved which mean that the act of deceasing is incorrect under the utilitarianism theory.

I find that this theory of utilitarianism is really much applicable and makes a batch of sense in footings of assisting us understand why people will take some actions and yet at some point there are people that may see the action as incorrect ( Burgess-Jackson. 357-85 ) . Under utilitarianism. the action is merely incorrect if it consequences in hurting and agony and reduces the degree of felicity but it is right if the terminal consequence is happiness and if it increases felicity. We are frequently faced with picks in life and what actions we are supposed to take.

From personal experience. I have ever made determinations and undertook actions as a consequence of the terminal consequence that I will obtain. If the terminal consequence of a certain action that I am supposed to take is traveling to impact me negatively. I frequently forego the action and expression for alternate. For illustration. I realized that if I decided to travel to school and survey. I will be able to acquire a good occupation and populate a good life. which meant I will be happy with myself. If I choose to take on actions such as drug trafficking. I may acquire arrested and spend all my life in prison which will trouble and enduring hence cut downing my felicity ( Weymark. 527-55 ) . Based on the utilitarianism theory. I chose the action of traveling to school as the terminal consequences will assist increase the degree of felicity in my life unlike the other action of drug dealing.

Furthermore. this theory makes sense as it natural supports the sentiments of human existences which is found in their societal nature. Human existences. we are societal and ever seek for felicity in all actions ad relationships that we build ( Mill. 8 ) . A adult female would love a certain adult male and non another adult male because she perceives felicity with that individual. Harmonizing to Mill. a position which I to the full back up and makes sense is that. felicity is the lone thing that people want in life and all the emotions. actions and activities that people go through or set about are frequently directed at accomplishing felicity.

No 1 in this universe wants to populate a life of enduring and trouble but all seek for felicity. I agree to this position based on an illustration of a ill adult male. When one is ill. and feels pain in the organic structure. they can non remain like that and merely wait to decease. Alternatively. people ever seek the aid of a physician so that they can retrieve from the hurting and bask the felicity of being healthy once more ( Weymark. 527-55 ) . The action of traveling to a physician for intervention is aimed at achieving felicity as the terminal consequence. Therefore. felicity is the centre of human life and all issues in the life of an person are directed towards accomplishing felicity. frequently with the benefit to the bulk in head.

Compared to utilitarianism. ethical egoism opposes by proposing that people should be more egoistic and lone undertake actions which will profit them more despite the result ton the bulk. Self-interest is the primary concern before the involvement of other people under utilitarianism ( Dougherty. 527-37 ) . On the other manus. deontology is based on the regulation or regulations that guide the actions of an person. However. despite morality based on regulations. the component of felicity is non considered and therefore no benefit to an person ( Dougherty. 527-37 ) . It is more concerned with the actions of an person instead than the effects of those actions. An action can be considered as ethically incorrect based on the regulation despite holding greater benefit to an person and the society at big ( Dougherty. 527-37 ) . This is wholly ion contrast to utilitarianism which is based on the effects. Therefore. from the comparing of the three ethical theories. I would stand by utilitarianism since it looks after the involvement of everyone. that is. the person and the society at big.


Burgess-Jackson. Keith. “Deontological Egoism. ” Social Theory & A ; Practice 29. 3 ( 2003 ) : 357-385. Academic Search Premier. Web. 9 Dec. 2014.

Burgess-Jackson. Keith. “Taking Egoism Seriously. ” Ethical Theory & A ; Moral Practice 16. 3 ( 2013 ) : 529-542. Academic Search Premier. Web. 9 Dec. 2014.

Dougherty. Tom. “Agent-Neutral Deontology. ” Philosophic Surveies 163. 2 ( 2013 ) : 527-537. Academic Search Premier. Web. 9 Dec. 2014.

Mill. John S. Utilitarianism. London: Longmans. Green. 1879. Print. P. 8

Weymark. John A. “Measurement Theory And The Foundations Of Utilitarianism. ” Social Choice & A ; Welfare 25. 2/3 ( 2005 ) : 527-555. Business Source Complete. Web. 9 Dec. 2014.

Woodard. Christopher. “The Common Structure Of Kantianism And Act-Utilitarianism. ” Utilitas 25. 2 ( 2013 ) : 246-265. Academic Search Premier. Web. 9 Dec. 2014.

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