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Key Features of Utilitarianism

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Examine the key features of utilitarianism.

Utilitarianism is an ethical philosophy which focuses on pleasure, and decides wether an act is morally right if it brings pleasure to the majority of people involved. The philosophy was proposed by the Englishman Jeremy Bentham(1748 - 1832), who was a consequentalist and believed that an act was good as long as it brought out a positive outcome, and that all acts done on the way would be justified if it ended with a postivie result. The theory`s historical context was that it strived to be a relovutionary social and political reform movement, propagated in the 18th and 19th century in the Enlightenment era. This era was identified by dynamic and permissive ideas about the human natures and societys impeccability. The theory is also made with a secular view, which means that it is not based on any religion and therefore can be used by anyone, both religious and non-religious. The fact that it focuses on the consequences of actions makes it teleological, which is a theory of morality that defines all actions as right if it brings out maximum pleasure. There is no fixed rules other than that the outcome has to be pleasure for the majority, which also makes Utilitarianism relativist.
The principle of Utility is “the greatest good for the greatest number” which is a phrase coined by Francis Hutcheson. It shows the simple rule of Utilitariansism which is that the majority of people should be getting pleasure. Later, Jeremy Bentham used this and made his own version saying “The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation,”.
Utilitariansism is also hedonistic, which is show in Bentham`s quote “The principle of utility aims to promote happiness which is the upreme ethical value. Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. An act is...

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