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Jeremy Bentham

  • Date Submitted: 11/21/2012 12:03 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.9 
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Bentham’s utilitarianism (30 Marks)

Throughout this essay I will be explaining the aspects of Jeremy Bentham’s theory of utilitarianism. We can divide his theory into three parts;
  1. Motivation- this was Bentham’s view on what drove human beings, and what goodness and badness really meant.
  2. Utility- This was from the Latin word ‘Utilis’ meaning ‘useful’. This was his moral rule.
  3. Hedonic Calculus- This is Bentham’s system on how to measure the level of good or bad a consequence is.
Utilitarianism is the moral theory of which will bring the greatest happiness (pleasure) for the greatest number of people. Jeremy believed that the right act would be the one that would actually result in the greatest amount of people being happy. Pleasure and pain is the form of right and wrong.
The Motivation of human beings. Jeremy believed that humans were to be motivated by pleasure and pain. Therefore Jeremy is a Hedonist. A hedonist is someone motivated by desires for sensual pleasures. He believed that all human beings would pursue to find pleasure and would avoid pain. This to him was a moral fact as the pleasure and pain showed what we humans should and shouldn’t do. Bentham being a hedonist he believed that pleasure was good and pain was bad, in fact it was evil. This is why his utilitarianism theory was called hedonic utilitarianism.
For example in the scenario of a doctor on his way to give a women a C-section to save her life when he comes across a car crash with the young women’s husband in or and elderly old man. The doctor has to decide who to save first. If the doctor doesn’t save them they will die. The doctor must use the theory to help with his decision. According to the theory the women will have the priority as she is carrying a child and is 2 people therefore she will bring the greatest happiness for the greatest amount of people as her family will be happy that they have a new member of family and will be happy. Whereas if the...


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