Utilitarianism : Utilitarianism And Rule Utilitarianism

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Utilitarianism, which is also called consequentialism, is a theory in normative ethics. It is one of the best known and most influential moral theories. The main idea of utilitarianism is to determine whether actions are morally good or bad, right or wrong depends on their consequences rather than intentions. (Moreland 1) In order to understand utilitarianism, it is important to learn about Jeremy Bentham, who is the influential philosopher represented utilitarianism the best. The utilitarianism is generally divided to two genres: act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. Rule utilitarianism, which originated by John Stuart Mill, is subsequent development of act utilitarianism. The two types of utilitarianism have the same main idea which is actions that can be regarded as good or right are determined by whether it can reach a maximum benefit in the selections of all possible actions. On one hand, act utilitarianism suggests moral rules can be ignored if the actions can access the maximum benefit. On the other hand, Mill alters Bentham’s utilitarianism by his own ideas. Rule utilitarianism suggests that every choices of actions should not violate to moral principles. This article focuses on the act utilitarianism which represented by Bentham. Because his utilitarianism can be considered as the most typical and original one. Jeremy Bentham was an English philosopher and political radical. He was born in Houndsditch, London on February 15, 1748. His father was an attorney.
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