Humanism: ethics Humanism: ethics • Empirics

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Humanism: ethics Humanism: ethics

Humanism: ethics • Empirics (R. Descartes) • Natural-philosophy: heliocentric model • Social and political thought: Humanism: ethics • Empirics (R. Descartes) • Natural-philosophy: heliocentric model • Social and political thought: 1. Ethics of a free society (Moor, Campanella, Hobbes, Locke); 2. Ethics of a ruler (Machiavelli)

Humanism: ethics • Utilitarianism: 1. Jeremy Bentham: “Basics of Morality” a) Hedonism; b) Happiness=pleasures; c) CharacteristicsHumanism: ethics • Utilitarianism: 1. Jeremy Bentham: “Basics of Morality” a) Hedonism; b) Happiness=pleasures; c) Characteristics of pleasures; d) How to apply it on public? (Laws)

UTILITARIANISM - Consequences for whom? For everyone affected by my action* - What kind of good?UTILITARIANISM — Consequences for whom? For everyone affected by my action* — What kind of good? Pleasure or Happiness — What kind of consequences? Best consequences for the greatest number (more pleasure; pleasure minus pain; intensity; duration; likelihood). Consequences that are intentional (or even those we didn’t want to? ) actual (or in the long period? ), expectable (or best reasonably expectable? ) * Bentham and Mill even spoke of every “sentient being” including animals

UTILITARIANISM IMPARTIALITY and EQUALITY Everyone affected by some action is to be counted equally : thereUTILITARIANISM IMPARTIALITY and EQUALITY Everyone affected by some action is to be counted equally : there is no special privilege for anyone. Example: — Act A makes me happy and two other people happy — Act B makes me unhappy but five other people happy In this example Act B is a better choice than Act

UTILITARIANISM The morally best (or better) alternative is that which produces the greatest (or greater) netUTILITARIANISM The morally best (or better) alternative is that which produces the greatest (or greater) net utility, where utility is defined in terms of happiness or pleasure

UTILITARIANISM Hedonism : :  pleasure or or happiness (as(as psychic states of satisfaction ) isUTILITARIANISM Hedonism : : pleasure or or happiness (as(as psychic states of satisfaction ) is the good that should be promoted Bentham: “Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. ” Pleasure and/or Happiness are intrinsic goods : : we look for them as such Other goods (such as fame, education…) are instrumental : they are useful for attaining the goals of pleasure and/or happiness