Utilitarianism the conceptual principle of morality

The Concepts of Beneficence and Benevolence The term beneficence connotes acts of mercy, kindness, and charity.

Utilitarianism the conceptual principle of morality

Additional Information In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: But, whereas he regards justice as important, he does not think it is the whole of morality. In fact, he warns against "merging all morality in justice" by ignoring other moral obligations, such as those of "charity," "generosity ," and "beneficence" U, V, Mill provides no general name for the moral obligations that fall outside the realm of justice; his few comments as well as his utilitarianism suggest the term "benevolence.

My aim is to reconstruct for Mill, so far as possible, a coherent set of moral doctrines within the limits of his theories of morality and justice and his version of utilitarianism. Reconstruction is in order, partly because Mill does not address the matter directly, but also because his views need some sympathetic refinement in the process of interpretation.

The Nature of Morality and Moral Theories

Mill's division of morality has not attracted much attention, perhaps because he is usually read as morally committed to maximizing happiness, in which case he would seem to have no clear need or even room for a theory of moral obligation, no less a complex, articulated theory.

So my first task which I take up in Section I is to summarize my general understanding of Mill's theory of morality, built around the idea of obligation. Work on this paper was supported by a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities duringwhich I gratefully acknowledge.

I am indebted to D.

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One is a conceptual distinction between justice and other moral obligations. This concerns the idea of justice and by implication, the rest of morality, but does not tell us much about the substance of justice or nonjustice obligations.

The other aspect is Mill's substantive conception of these two general categories of obligation and their requirements on conduct. Section II takes up Mill's analytic division of morality; Section III deals with the substantive doctrines in terms of which Mill views that distinction.

Both parts of Mill's theory require interpretation —a choice between two primary readings and a defense of one's choice against both textual and philosophical objections.

A Framework for Making Ethical Decisions | Science and Technology Studies

I argue in Section II that Mill's analytic division of morality turns basically on the notion of a right. Obligations of justice do, but nonjustice obligations do not, correlate with others' rights, according to Mill, so that an injustice is the violation of another person's right whereas other moral wrongs do not necessarily involve the violation of a right.

This is Mill's official doctrine, but not the only way he draws the conceptual distinction. I try to show, on philosophical as well as textual grounds, that it is the better reading of Mill.

Utilitarianism the conceptual principle of morality

Nevertheless, in at least one passage, Mill threatens to do the very thing he warns against, namely, "merge all morality in justice" U, V, He does so by seeming to assume, in that passage, that any wrong or immoral act involves the violation of another person's right.

This difficulty is discussed at length in Section VII. The interpretive hypothesis I finally suggest with some textual support is that Mill believes the members of a community generally have a second-order obligation of reciprocity towards their fellow members.A few weeks ago the blogosphere discovered Ayn Rand’s margin notes on a C.S.

Morality and Moral Theories

Lewis book. They were everything I expected and more. Lewis would make an argument, and then Rand would write a stream of invective in the margin about how much she hated Lewis’ arguments and him personally.

Beneficent actions and motives have traditionally occupied a central place in morality. Common examples today are found in social welfare programs, scholarships for needy and meritorious students, communal support of health-related research, policies to improve the welfare of animals, philanthropy, disaster relief, programs to benefit .

J. L. Mackie - Ethics~ Inventing Right and Wrong (, ) - Free ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online for free.

Others reserve morality for the state of virtue while seeing ethics as a code that enables morality. Another way to think about the relationship between ethics and morality is to see ethics as providing a rational basis for morality, that is, ethics provides good reasons for why something is moral.

John Rawls (—) John Rawls was arguably the most important political philosopher of the twentieth century. He wrote a series of highly influential articles in the s and ’60s that helped refocus Anglo-American moral and political philosophy on substantive problems about what we ought to do.

Utilitarianism since the late 19th century. By the time Sidgwick wrote, utilitarianism had become one of the foremost ethical theories of the day.

His Methods of Ethics (), a comparative examination of egoism, the ethics of common sense, and utilitarianism, contains the most careful discussion to be found of the implications of utilitarianism as a principle .

Project MUSE - The Limits of Utilitarianism