Philosophy 360: Business Ethics. Chapter 3. Consequentialism:. Is part of a theory about what makes certain actions right or wrong. In a nutshell: Actions are right insofar as they produce the best overall consequences, and wrong otherwise. Often stated as “The ends justify the means”.
Duration: How long will the good last?
Certainty: How likely is the good to occur or not occur as the result of the action?
Propinquity: Is this good close at hand or a long way off?
Fecundity: Is this action likely to allow more good actions or fewer?
Purity: Will this action produce only good, or a mix of good and bad?
Extent: How many subjects are affected?A Model: Bentham’s Hedonic Calculus:
Objection: If there are 101 people, Util. says that 51 of them can do whatever they want to the other 50 as long as that makes them happy.
No it doesn’t. (1) the unhappiness caused by deprivation must be factored in and (2) there are actions open that produce more happiness.
Utilizing a method of maximizing average utility in a fully utilitarian society leads to what is called “The dastardly conclusion” in which a number of people sacrifice themselves to improve the average.A problem with aggregating utility