Critique of Bentham's Quantitative Utilitarianism

1783 WordsOct 8, 19998 Pages
Over time, the actions of mankind have been the victim of two vague labels, right and wrong. The criteria for these labels are not clearly defined, but they still seem to be the standard by which the actions of man are judged. There are some people that abide by a deontological view when it comes to judging the nature of actions; the deontological view holds that it is a person's intention that makes an action right or wrong. On the other hand there is the teleological view which holds that it is the result of an action is what makes that act right or wrong. In this essay I will be dealing with utilitarianism, a philosophical principle that holds a teleological view when it comes the nature of actions. To solely discuss utilitarianism is…show more content…
The interest of the community is said to be a sum of the total interests of its several members. It is never specified what how exactly this total is acquired or even if the members of the community would agree on whatever is considered the community's interest. If the members would agree then that means that everyone in the community had the same interest to begin with. If the members would not agree, then how can you go about adding up their conflicting interests? These interests, when attempting to get a total seem like they would cancel each other out which wouldn't make for much of sum total. Things of this nature (individual interests) are so relative that it would be impossible as well as pointless to even try to place any kind of concrete value, which brings up another point. What kind of value are these individual and community interests supposed to have? In order to add things up they must have some sort of value. Because of Bentham's failure to offer some sort of method for combining individuals' interests and since he failed to offer some sort of concrete value for these abstract things, his perspective on the interest of the community remains unclear to me. The second issue that I am going to take up lies in Bentham's method of calculating the general tendency of an act that affects a community's interest. For starters, the process itself is too
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