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Exam 2 - Essay Example

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Exam 2

This particular approach is useful to understand due to fact that it has often been referred to as the primal case of the ends justifying the means. This is of course due to the fact that happiness or utility cannot be determined until the action or actions that are intended to evoke such a utility had been performed and can be measured. Many within the field of philosophy have noted that utilitarianism, perhaps more than any other approach, is quantitative and can oftentimes be referred to as reductionist with regards to its approach. This is due to the fact that the ends – means approach requires the individual to be completely and entirely cognizant of the fact that utilitarianism, if used as an overarching theory, must necessarily factor in all of the preceding actions and determinants that lead to whatever utilitarianism does in question. The ongoing debate then necessarily hinges upon the degree of inference and emphasis which should be placed upon the consequences of the determinant actions that yield the end result. Similarly, with regards to John Stuart Mill’s quote, “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a full satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, is of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the questions. The other party to the comparison knows both sides”, the reader can note the utilitarian concept being utilized with respect to the way in which Mill views the ultimate end. Whereas it is previously been discussed that happiness fulfills the ultimate end of utilitarianism, according to mills quote, the reader can understand that the true end that she seeks to remote is awareness and intellect. Accordingly, he compares and contrasts the utility of being satisfied versus unsatisfied, the utility of being a man or a pig, and lastly the utility and overall importance of opinion. 2 According to Kant’s theory of retributivism, this is an approach that society should take with regards to its response to crime. According to Kant, the theory places punishment proportionate to the crime. Although this may not seem as an earth shattering theory, this is only due to the fact that the current criminal justice system seeks to integrate a very large degree of Kant’s theory of retributivism into the way in which crime is currently punished. Ultimately, the theory is predicated upon the understanding of forfeiture. Accordingly, this forfeiture is most commonly understood with regards to the freedom of mobility for life that is sometimes required of the convicted. Furthermore, the reader can and should understand that Kant’s understanding of retributivism bears a direct correlation to the common expression ”let the punishment that the crime”. In such a way, Kant sought to remove the level of emotional response/knee jerk reaction that is so oftentimes the response to crime and punishment within society. Although it may be tempting to assume that Kant was the first to put forward such a theory, the fact of the matter is is that he was merely the first to define it with an identifiable term. Ultimately, this fear he can be traced all the way back to the biblical interpretation of “life for life, eye for eye” etc. at its very core, this theory of retributivism engenders a degree of proportionality. As such, it is the responsibility of the punishing entity to ensure that the punishment for the crime is proportionate to the offending behavior that precipitated it. Naturally, such ...Show more


Although the actual definition and concept of utilitarianism was not defined until the time of Jeremy Bentham in the late 17th century, it was nonetheless a fundamental determinant in a means of thinking that philosophers as early as Aristotle sought to pursue…
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Exam 2 essay example
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