We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Universalist and impartialist about Utilitarianism - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Explain what each of these terms means and how it applies to utilitarianism. Then, take a position as to whether each of these features is an advantage or disadvantage to Utilitarianism as an ethical theory…
Download paper
Universalist and impartialist about Utilitarianism
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample
Universalist and impartialist about Utilitarianism

The scholarly consensus as of date is that Utilitarianism is a partial system of morality and is somewhat inadequate on account of its authors’ reluctance to front up to complexities of ethics. Utilitarianism asserts that 'It is morally good to act for the general happiness.' As this assessment is taken at face value by most, the salient critical question is ‘What is it that is morally not good,  which stands in opposition to this?’ In answering this question proponents say, ‘acting for unhappiness’. (Grote 123) Utilitarian moral philosophy thus has for its subject the ascertaining of what happiness is, which is placed in polar opposition to unhappiness. Having found what constitutes happiness, the philosophy strives to device methods to achieve that end. But real life experiences and events are not strictly broken into these clear-cut dichotomies and therein lie the major objection to Utilitarianism’s veracity as a ethical theory. The following passages will explain the two central concepts of ‘impartiality’ and ‘universality’ and identify their shortcomings for application in practical ethics. The founding texts of Utilitarianism think of it as inherently ethical. For example, deriving from post-revolutionary French thought, especially that of Helvetius, Godwin asserted that “Morality is that system of conduct which is determined by a consideration of the greatest general good.” (Godwin, as quoted in Scarre 67) The founding doctrine also makes it clear that the two pillars of ‘impartiality’ and ‘universality’ especially add to its ethical soundness. Utilitarianism espouses the principle of impartiality, to the extent that it places the happiness of all individuals in the community on par with each other. Moreover, it encourages constituent individuals in a group to see the virtue of valuing the happiness of others as much as theirs own. In other words, the expectation is to rise above the consideration of one’s own individual interests. Put as such, this principle sounds laudable. But as critics point out, there is plenty of scope for incorrect application of this principle, which could lead to adverse outcomes. For example, “In an action then which, in the truest and widest sense, we should call right or good, there is more than one sort of goodness. And unless we treat rightly this variety of rightness or goodness, our moral philosophy, whatever side we take, must be partial: and we shall not be able to argue against opponents of it without being in danger of arguing against something which, it is probable, an impartial and practical reader will consider morally proper.” (Grote 124) Even actions by individuals are mediated by this consideration for the greatest common good. The agent’s actions are never to enhance his/her own happiness, but that of all concerned. As John Stuart Mill himself clarifies in his treaties, “As between his own happiness and that of others, utilitarianism requires him to be as strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator. In the golden rule of Jesus of Nazareth, we read the complete spirit of the ethics of utility. To do as you would be done by, and to love your neighbour as yourself, constitute the ideal perfection of utilitarian morality.” (Mill, as quoted by Grote 86) One of Utilitarianism’s notable critics is the famous legal theoretician, John Rawls. Rawls’ objection to the notion of impartiality arises from the philosophical system’s blanket application of its principles to the entire social ... Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Universalist and impartialist about Utilitarianism Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.net/philosophy/86614-universalist-and-impartialist-about-utilitarianism
(Universalist and Impartialist about Utilitarianism Essay)
“Universalist and Impartialist about Utilitarianism Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/philosophy/86614-universalist-and-impartialist-about-utilitarianism.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Universalism,impartialism, & utilitarianism
Two of the most powerful theories that have affected and are still affecting how people shape their mindset, goals, and life would be Universalist and Impartialist theories. Universalism is a theory that hinges on a central belief that all people are saved.
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
Utility the good to be capitalized on has been distinct by a variety of thinkers as contentment or pleasure though preference utilitarian like Peter Singer describes it as the pleasure of fondness.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Philosophy-Contemporary Ethical Theory4
Examples of normative ethics are the theories of Natural Law, Utilitarianism and Kantian ethics. Meta-ethics is about normative ethics, and it is about making sense of the terms and concepts used (Oliphant & Mayled: 6). A central
14 Pages(3500 words)Essay
Utilitarianism is based on the “general happiness principle” or the “principle of utility” (PU). Actions are moral if they promote general happiness, and they are wrong if they will reduce general happiness. Among several actions, the right action promotes
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
The doctrine of utilitarianism rest on the worldview of maximizing benefits for all members of the society. As a result, the theory views actions from its impacts on involved stakeholders.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Through utilitarian ethics, these pertinent issues gain justification and are seen to have great importance to humans (Smith 13). Everyone has a right to work as it is a means to an end
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
It is identified that the Utilitarian views are entirely different from its contemporary philosophical theories of morality. Under certain circumstances, even homicide is justifiable under Utilitarianism. This paper will discuss in what kinds of circumstances
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
Liberty and freedom are common terms in the society as people and entities seek autonomy and protection of private rights. Liberty defines a free state in which no external force restricts a subject and while it remains the desire of every person and entity, there exist moral and legal provisions and theories that are inimical to its existence.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
It appears that although both sides of the issue cam be highly criticized, it is also possible to find justification for tortures when applying the principle of Utilitarianism. As one of the most persuasive and influential
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
From this, the two categories of happiness and unhappiness arise: happiness that signifies presence of pleasure and no pain, and unhappiness represent pain without pleasure. Two people known to be the leading
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
Let us find you another Essay on topic Universalist and impartialist about Utilitarianism for FREE!
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us