Jeremy Bentham was a utilitarian consequentialist. Explain Bentham’s moral philosophy as thoroughly as you can.
Your answer should include:
1- An account of where his system begins and why he thought that was the right place to start.
2- An explanation of what Bentham means by “utility”.
3- An explanation of how the system is supposed to work in practice.
4- Problems or potential problems for Bentham’s views.
5- Replies or possible replies Bentham might be able to make in response to those problems.
NOTE that the question does not ask you to explain Mill’s utilitarianism or how it differs from Bentham’s. However, you could work that into your answer in discussing potential problems for Bentham’s view (there are plenty of other things you could say here, as well).
In class I said the most significant problem for utilitarianism is the charge that it cannot account for justice, rights, and covenants (JRC). What I did not discuss in class were the replies Bentham and Mill give to this objection. I think it is important to point out that both Bentham and Mill do give such replies. This means you should not assume that utilitarianism meets its death with the JRC objection.
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