Mon, Feb 25
In this class we'll tackle the second of three major philosophical views about what it is to do the right thing: utilitarianism. According to utilitarians, the key to acting morally is to do whatever will alleviate suffering and promote pleasure in the world. As a result, anything that can feel pain or pleasure deserves your moral consideration. And we might be called upon to make some significant sacrifices if it holds out the hope of making the world better.
Key Concepts: Utilitarianism, the Greatest Happiness Principle, Equality of Consideration, Sentience
Book 2 of Utilitarianism (John Stuart Mill) (The following sections are optional: "Happiness as an Aim", "Is Utilitarianism Chilly?", "Utilitarianism as 'Godless'", and "Expediency")
- Homework: Reading Reflection Journal