A Criticism of Act Utilitarianism

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kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 09:18 am
@Khethil,
Khethil;163876 wrote:
I'd take great exception to this. Reality demands and constrains us to a variety of considerations - none of which is done justice through adherence to any single standard.



We use it anyway - making our decisions and judgments as is. Given this, I'd say there are a variety of 'just' proportions of utility and other values.

Thanks


Well, as I pointed out, it may well be that we should use several standard, but the question remains, by which criterion do we use this or that standard, when they conflict? And, what should we do when we decide on a particular standard, but find that the standard we decide on, and our intuition conflict. Do we go with our intuition? Do we go with the standard? Or should we employ the method of reflective equilibrium? I think it should me the method of reflective equilibrium? And you think?
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 02:18 pm
@Bill Maxwell,
Thanks, for some reason I think of "intuition" as being something different than what it actually means. Reflective equilibrium is much closer to the mark.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 03:23 pm
@kennethamy,
Kenn,

I've just read over the majority of the reflective equilibrium info from the link. I'm impressed; although I suspect some have, over the eons, consciously engaged in this sort of evaluative process, I'm impressed that someone's actually codified it. In any case...

kennethamy;163878 wrote:
Well, as I pointed out, it may well be that we should use several standard, but the question remains, by which criterion do we use this or that standard, when they conflict? And, what should we do when we decide on a particular standard, but find that the standard we decide on, and our intuition conflict. Do we go with our intuition? Do we go with the standard? Or should we employ the method of reflective equilibrium? I think it should me the method of reflective equilibrium? And you think?


Between the alternatives, I'd agree that a balancing act, in the mind of the evaluator, is certainly in order and among the best routes he or she could take. It is a sound exercise for the individual, this reflection - to be done on a conscious level - to reconcile the differences in judgments and those standards to which we've held.

For my own part, the standards to which we consciously adhere (those of the how we judge rightness) are best realized when they contain the punctuated caveat that the details of the situation will dictate the ratios of each standard in our assessments. To what extent does intent play? Is the resultant condition all that matters? What of urgency, or self-interest? All these play, in differing proportions, of course... and I believe i know you're not disputing this.

I must finish the reading; but I've read the majority and I'd recommend it as a sound methodology.

Thanks
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 06:39 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil;163991 wrote:
Kenn,

I'm impressed that someone's actually codified it. In any case...




Thanks


No one can claim to have invented reflective equilibrium any more that anyone can claim to have invented logic. As John Locke said, "God did not give Man two legs, and then left it to Aristotle to make Man logical". Reflective equilibrium is the name of thinking intelligently, just as logic is. And no one invented that. But, of course, Aristotle invented the subject and the study of logic. And cognitive scientists (among others) can theorize about reflective equilibrium, and, of course, as you say, codify it , or try to organize it.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Mon 17 May, 2010 10:07 am
@kennethamy,
You're right, I should have said "codified", my mistake.
 
 

 
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