He states that ethical principles must be universal and that ethics are distinctively human. Kant also thought it was possible for pure reason to discover objective ethical truths. Kant believed that ethical truths must be categorical, universal, and be the product of reason. Kant’s categorical imperative states that a person should always act in such a way that they could will that act should be a universal law. This means that Kant thought that it was best to do the right thing, even if the person didn’t want to.
The divine command theory, utilitarianism, Kant’s duty defined morality, natural law theory, and Aristotle’s virtue ethics are the five types of ethical theories. The divine command theory states that what is morally right and wrong will be decided by God. Utilitarianism states that “Action “A” is morally right if and only if it produces the greatest amount of overall happiness. Kant’s duty defined morality states that what is important is acting for the sake of producing good consequences, no matter what the act is. Natural law theory states that people should focus on the good and avoid any evil.
When discussing both act and rule utilitarianism, it is important to understand that both of them agree in terms of the overall consequence of an action, because they emphasize on creating the most beneficial pleasure and happiness in the outcome of an act. Despite this fact, they both have different principles and rules that make them different from each other. Act utilitarianism concentrates on the acts of individuals. Meaning that if a person commits an action, he/she must at least have a positive utility. The founders of utilitarianism define positive utility as happiness and pleasure and consider it to be a driving force of all positive and morally right acts.
Philosophical advancements were extremely characteristic of the Age of Enlightenment, allowing many artists and writers to pave the way to express their own ideologies and philosophies through both art and literature. In response to these Enlightenment philosophers, professor William Harmon and author Hugh Holman write, “The philosophes agreed on faith in human rationality and the existence of discoverable and universally valid principles governing human beings, nature and society. They opposed intolerance, restraint, spiritual authority, and reveled religion” (Harmon and Holman, 190). Voltaire, an incredibly renowned writer during the Enlightenment era, was revolutionary in establishing the characters in his works to be innovative in a sense of philosophy— each having their own perspective and outlook on what it means to be living in the world. As far as philosophical development during this time period, Voltaire was able to advance his personal convictions regarding philosophy in Candide as a way of mocking the time of the Enlightenment altogether, essentially using satire throughout his book to criticize the society and era in which he lived.
Kant’s categorical imperative as known as The Formula Of The End In Itself states that people should act in a certain way that you always treat humanity and always consider them as an end but never as mere means. This moral theory opposes to Utilitarianism, which supports the “greatest happiness principle”. According to “greatest happiness principle” people ought to act in such a way that produce the greatest amount of happiness for the
Haidt invents this hypothesis by exploring ancient beliefs and comparing that to modern-day philosophy. Throughout the book, Haidt references real-life scenarios and scientific evidence to try and prove his points about the causes and barriers of happiness. Overall, you can say that Haidt definitely did his research about how to gain access to happiness and remain in that state of mind whether it be socially, mentally, or spiritually. And now we have to recognize WHY and HOW this book was published. The only reason Haidt found success with his book is because he is exceptionally well at shifting the audience’s mood and mind towards his opinion using effective persuasion tools.
In the reading, "Utilitarianism," the author argues that happiness is the main criteria for morality since people base their actions off of the overall happiness it could promote (pp. 195 and 198) and that while actions differ in the quantity and quality of pleasure, pleasurable actions that require intellect are of the higher pleasures (pp. 196-197). One of the author’s main reasons to support his view is that morality is determined by what increases or decreases the overall amount of utility (pp. 197).
I agree with the basic philosophy of the Romantics and the Transcendentalists for the reason being, it is vital for an individual to discover their own righteous ethical principles and be ruled by them rather than invariably conform to contemporary standards, in order to deter tyrannical rule. As Ralph Waldo Emerson asserts in his essay Self-Reliance “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines ” (Source A), evident in the excerpt Emerson implies that “foolish” consistency deters positive progress, which is adored and beneficial predominantly by people in power, thus resulting in tyrannical rule. Hence, why I agree with the basic philosophy of the Romantics and transcendentalist, for the reason being it is vital for an individual to discover their own righteous
Word Count: Emily Schrock Dr. Liberman PHIL 201-02 7 October 2017 Utilitarianism Many have tried to explain the concept of morality and what makes certain actions right and others wrong. One of the best-known theories, presented by men such as Jeremy Benthamn and John Stuart Mill, is coined utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is a theory about morality stating that an action is right if it promotes the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest amount of people, as happiness or utility is the only thing in the world that is purely good (Mill 229). It does not matter whose happiness, as utilitarianism is an egalitarian and impartial view meaning that everyone’s happiness is weighed the same (Mill 239). An objection to utilitarianism could be that no one could possibly know what action will bring the most amount of happiness to the most amount of people (Mill 246).
The major theory of ethics that this argument relies on is Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism (U) is characterised by carrying out an action to produce the greatest amount of good (or “utility”) for the greatest number of people, regardless of whether or not the action is right or wrong. The word “good” is defined as a sense of satisfaction, gain or welfare – according to the Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus. Alternatively, the theory focuses on reducing the total amount of harm imposed on the greatest number of people. Viewing this theory from either perspective will generate an overall positive outcome.