Jeremy Bentham was one of the first philosophers to present a fully developed system of utilitarianism. He thought that we, as humans, should evaluate the consequences of our actions, determine whether each action is morally right or wrong, and tally the pleasure and pain that comes as a result of our actions. Is it right for me to donate to charity? Is it right for me to cheat on my government test? These questions we ask ourselves fall under Bentham’s theory known as act-utilitarianism because it focuses on the consequences of every action we perform. Bentham argues that the “greatest happiness of the greatest number of people” (Bentham) is how we should determine right from wrong. He also believed “mankind is under the
So that is Bentham’s Utilitarianism Theory all explained through three parts, the Motivation of pain and pleasure, the Principle of Utility and the Hedonistic
This case will now be analyzed through the perspective of Jeremy Bentham’s moral theory of utilitarianism. Bentham formulated this moral theory around the theme of the human desire to seek out pleasure and avoid pain. Before going into further depth it is important to note some of the main arguments he is trying to get across. These include the following: human beings have a desire to be benefitted, benefit leads to pleasure, producing as much pleasure as possible, and benefitting as many people as we can. It is now becoming a clearer picture that Bentham’s perspective on morality stresses the satisfaction of human
or so many years our society has been thinking of forming new creative and innovative businesses, which would be more environmental and customer friendly. Nowadays a large number of different companies follow the social, ethical, as well as moral consequences when it comes to their decision making. One of the relatively new concepts involving economic and social concerns is Corporate Social Responsibility. Many of us apply this approach not only at work, but also in everyday life without even recognizing.
On the other hand, Jeremy Bentham, a utilitarian, argued that the right action was the one that “tendency it has to augment the happiness of the community is greater than any it has to diminish it” (Bentham 481). Bentham believed that the determination of a right action was the actions ability to generate pleasure to the greatest amount of people and for the longest
In essence, Jeremy Bentham believes that our moral behavior is governed by "two sovereign masters", that being pain and pleasure. Bentham argues that these "masters" preside over everything we do, everything we say, and in everything we think. As humans, Bentham argues, it is not our choice to decide to base our morality off of pain and pleasure, but instead we are dominated by these perceptions and are obliged to do so. He brings up the point of the principle of utility, which by definition is the judgment of a particular action in correlation with its effects on the happiness of everyone who is affected by the action. This utility isn't only excluded to self-pleasure, but more broadly, the "interest" of the whole community is calculated.
Jeremy Bentham is widely regarded as the father of utilitarianism. He was born in 1748 into a family of lawyers and was himself, training to join the profession. During this process however, he became disillusioned by the state British law was in and set out to reform the system into a perfect one based on the ‘Greatest Happiness Principle,’ ‘the idea that pleasurable consequences are what qualify an action as being morally good’. Bentham observed that we are all governed by pain and pleasure; we all
Bentham implied that hedonistic values in human actions could be easily tallied. Through his calculations, considering the intensity, duration, response, and outcome of pleasure, a full measure of benefit and fault could be rendered. Bentham also believed that by “maximizing the good” would lead a person to happiness. In other words, the greatest amount of pleasure will produce the greatest amount of happiness.
Corporate Social Responsibility (C.S.R.) is a theory practiced in the business sphere since fifty years. It refers to the duty of business organizations to adopt certain activities that will benefit the society in some way. Charity, health-awareness campaigns are few examples that a business undertakes to fulfil its objectives of C.S.R. According to this ideal, it is important for various corporations today to undertake such social activities, apart from merely focusing on their objective of profit maximization. But, is it an obligation that is most important than other objectives of business? This thought further leads us to another significant question – In contemporary settings, should corporations be guided by the concept of C.S.R.?
In the beginning of “An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation” written by Bentham himself he first starts off by saying, “Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure” This is the basis of what the principle of utility is all about. Pain and pleasure are what dictate or motivate us to do everything in life. Bentham believes that a decision can be made depending on how much pain and/or pleasure it will bring to the greatest amount of people. So if a decision brings more pain than pleasure to society as a whole it is deemed as wrong and if a decision brings more pleasure than pain it is deemed as a worthy thing to do. Bentham states, “to prevent mischief, pain, evil, or unhappiness to the party whose interest is considered: if that party be the community in general, then the happiness of the community: if a particular individual, then the happiness of that individual.” The way
Bentham argues that humans only commit actions on the bases of utility, which is the desire to enjoy happiness and prevent pain. He is certain that utility alone governs human morality and that the principles of utilitarianism are morally correct for every situation. Bentham claims that the purpose of morality is to increase the happiness of society and every action should aim to benefit the greatest number. He argues that without attaining happiness for the greatest number, society becomes dysfunction. In Bentham’s perfect utilitarian society, individuals would put aside their personal desires which cause pain to society as a whole in order to promote universal happiness. Bentham, strongly suggests that utilitarianism has no uncertainties, period. After objective analysis under Utilitarianism, before committing any action an individual must first examine the happiness which can be extracted from the action and the potential harms that it can cause, if the action yields more pain to the greatest number it is immoral. Bentham concludes that pain can’t yield happiness and that for an action to be morally correct it must
“According to Jeremy Bentham’s ‘principle of utility,’ actions are right when they increase happiness and diminish misery.” (Bentham, pg. 101) With this, Bentham is described as a “hedonistic utilitarian,” meaning his theoretical objectives consist of the pursuit of happiness/pleasure and the avoidance of pain. Hedonists also believe in quantifying happiness. Bentham developed the formula of the “calculus of felicity”(hedonistic calculus) in order for one to “analyze an act in terms of the pleasure it will produce” when applied to utilitarian criteria. (Bentham, pg. 270) Bentham intended this grouping of circumstances to be applied when considering all acts. The seven categories defined by Bentham are: Intensity, Duration, Certainty, Proximity, Fecundity, Purity, and Extent. The benefit of using utilitarian criteria for determining the value of pleasure is that it presents several perspectives of pleasure. The primary advantage of “calculus of felicity” using utilitarian criteria is that the pleasure obtained from all different acts or sources is to be measured in the same way. Universal application of this measurement implies that there is no additional value to acts that are deemed more moral or intellectual.
Bentham’s concern was upon utilitarianism which assumes the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers. He believes that individuals weigh the probabilities of present and future pleasures against those of present and future pain (Postema, 1998).
According to Bentham, all human beings are governed by two sovereign aspects: Pleasure and pain while each individual accepts the fact that we desire pleasure and unwilling to encounter pain. Then, he came up with his Principle of utility where:
ITC Ltd has worked exremly hard to start several procedures that have led to compliance of the standards of social responsibility. ITC’s dealings within the tobacco industry have contributed to the increase in company revenues and the company has worked towards following the triple bottom line and giving back to society. Most, businesses pay little attention to their social responsibilities and make it part of their overall strategy, instead they concentrate more on financial benefits from the sales of products. Consequently, managing business in a socially responsive manner contributes to the best combination of business success and societal acceptance, trust and loyalty. Giving back to the community in ways that benefits only society such as planting trees to curb pollution and help the environment or using biodegradable materials in packaging can reap financial benefits to a company by building loyalty among the community. The notion of business ethics and corporate social responsibility is becoming a defining concept in all industries worldwide. ITC believes in the Triple Bottom Line philosophy where the performance and perception of a corporation should not be judged only on the basis of its financial statements or revenues, but its environmental and social performance as well. ITC is one of the only companies in the world to be carbon positive, water positive, and conduct solid waste recycling. ITC provides water to areas where water is very