Words of Wisdom:

"The reward of suffering is experience." - Papyrus

Utilitarianism

  • Date Submitted: 11/19/2013 10:14 AM
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‘Explain how Preference Utilitarianism differs from previous forms of Utilitarianism’ (AO1 30 marks)

Preference Utilitarianism is a modern adaptation of the traditional forms of Utilitarianism; it focuses on determining whether an action is morally right or wrong according to how they fit with the preferences with those involved.
Preference Utilitarianism differs from other forms of utilitarianism because it is solely on the individual person’s interest and their preference to how the situation turns out. It concentrates on the maximisation of people’s preferences, whilst taking into account the consequences of that person’s choice and the effect it has on others. Unlike Bentham and Mill’s forms of Utilitarianism which focuses on ‘ought to seek out pleasure and sought to avoid pain’, preference Utilitarianism has no involvement with the intrinsic value (meaning pleasure and happiness) as this is not the focus of Singer’s approach.   For example Singer argued that “people have different ideas of what ‘happiness’ is and that some don’t actually choose happiness” therefore he realised that our preferences are more important.
  All forms of Utilitarianism including preference are based on the theories of a consequentialist, meaning someone decides if an action is good or bad by the consequences it produces, however in Singer’s approach ‘the best possible consequence equals the best interest’ this means the action would be considered right if the person achieves what they preferred, this is different to Bentham and Mill’s theories as Singer is not considering what increases pleasure and diminishes pain. On the one hand Preference Utilitarianism accepts and involves the ‘principle of utility’ which is the idea that rightness and wrongness is determined by its usefulness, therefore similar to Bentham’s act and Mill’s rule utilitarianism as an outline when making moral decisions. On the other hand preference differs from ‘Rule Utilitarianism’ because they are no...

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