Date: 2017-04-14 22:20
Justice is a proper part of duty. Justice involves duties that are perfect duties that is, duties that are correlated with rights (V 65). An act is just if and only if it is not unjust, and it is unjust just in case it is wrong and violates someone's rights (V 78). Someone has a right just in case she has a claim that society ought to protect by force of law or public opinion (V 79).
So far, Mill's various claims about duty are largely consistent with direct utilitarianism, and, hence, act utilitarianism. However, Chapter V of Utilitarianism introduces claims about duty, justice, and rights that are hard to square with either.
Recall that the Proportionality Doctrine says, in part, that utilitarianism holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness ( U II 7). Urmson claims that we can make sense of an action's tendency to produce good or bad consequences only as a claim about what is true of a class or type of actions. Token actions produce specifiable consequences only types of actions have tendencies. On Urmson's interpretation, Mill is really saying that an action is right if it is a token of a type of act that tends to have good or optimal consequences. So interpreted, the Proportionality Doctrine would espouse a form of rule utilitarianism.
Insofar as Mill insists that preventing harm to others is the only legitimate basis for restricting individual liberty, he is committed to a blanket prohibition on paternalism. Why? Mill offers two explicit reasons.
Utilitarianism is the idea that the moral worth of an action is solely determined by its contribution to overall utility in maximizing happiness or pleasure as summed among all people. It is, then, the total utility of individuals which is important here, the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. Utility , after which the doctrine is named, is a measure in economics of the relative satisfaction from, or desirability of, the consumption of goods. Utilitarianism can thus be described as a quantitative and reductionistic approach to Ethics.
One might wonder if utilitarianism is the only or the best way to understand impartiality. Indeed, this is one way of understanding now familiar worries about the implications of utilitarianism for issues of distributive justice and individual rights. But this reading of the proof has the virtue of identifying Mill's defense of utilitarianism with the feature of it that made it a progressive influence historically.
There is an upper limit on the system of plural votes such that the weighted votes of the educational elite will not give them a majority coalition that could advance its class interests at the expense of the uneducated ( CRG 976).
A system of ethics according to which the rightness or wrongness of an action should be judged by its consequences. The goal of utilitarian ethics is to promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number. Jeremy Bentham, an English philosopher , was the founder of utilitarianism John Stuart Mill was its best-known defender.
So far, this conception of a right does not yet introduce any utilitarian considerations. Mill adds utilitarianism to the mix in his account of the conditions under which society ought to enforce an individual's claim.
One extremely controversial feature of Sidgwick's views relates to his rejection of a publicity requirement for moral theory. He writes: