Bentham's book An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation was printed in but not published until It is possible that Bentham was spurred on to publish after he saw the success of Paley's The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy. Bentham's work opens with a statement of the principle of utility: It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do… By the principle of utility is meant that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever according to the tendency it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question:
Indirect Theories On indirect theories, animals do not warrant our moral concern on their own, but may warrant concern only in so far as they are appropriately related to human beings. The implications these sorts of theories have for the proper treatment of animals will be explored after that.
Finally, two common methods of arguing against indirect theories will be discussed. One of the earliest and clearest expressions of this kind of view comes to us from Aristotle B. According to Aristotle, there is a natural hierarchy of living beings.
The different levels are determined by the abilities present in the beings due to their natures. While plants, animals, and human beings are all capable of taking in nutrition and growing, only animals and human beings are capable of conscious experience.
This means that plants, being inferior to animals and human beings, have the function of serving the needs of animals and human beings. Likewise, human beings are superior to animals because human beings have the capacity for using reason to guide their conduct, while animals lack this ability and must instead rely on instinct.
It follows, therefore, that the function of animals is to serve the needs of human beings. This, according to Aristotle, is "natural and expedient" Regan and Singer, Following Aristotle, the Christian philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas argues that since only beings that are rational are capable of determining their actions, they are the only beings towards which we should extend concern "for their own sakes" Regan and Singer, Aquinas believes that if a being cannot direct its own actions then others must do so; these sorts of beings are merely instruments.
Instruments exist for the sake of people that use them, not for their own sake. Since animals cannot direct their own actions, they are merely instruments and exist for the sake of the human beings that direct their actions.
Aquinas believes that his view follows from the fact that God is the last end of the universe, and that it is only by using the human intellect that one can gain knowledge and understanding of God. Since only human beings are capable of achieving this final end, all other beings exist for the sake of human beings and their achievement of this final end of the universe.
Remnants of these sorts of views remain in justifications for discounting the interests of animals on the basis of the food chain. On this line of thought, if one kind of being regularly eats another kind of being, then the first is said to be higher on the food chain.
If one being is higher than another on the food chain, then it is natural for that being to use the other in the furtherance of its interests.
Since this sort of behavior is natural, it does not require any further moral justification. Kant developed a highly influential moral theory according to which autonomy is a necessary property to be the kind of being whose interests are to count direclty in the moral assessment of actions Kant, According to Kant, morally permissible actions are those actions that could be willed by all rational individuals in the circumstances.
While both animals and human beings have desires that can compel them to action, only human beings are capable of standing back from their desires and choosing which course of action to take. This ability is manifested by our wills.
Since animals lack this ability, they lack a will, and therefore are not autonomous. According to Kant, the only thing with any intrinsic value is a good will. Since animals have no wills at all, they cannot have good wills; they therefore do not have any intrinsic value.
Rather than simply relying on the fact that it is "natural" for rational and autonomous beings to use non-rational beings as they see fit, Kant instead provides an argument for the relevance of rationality and autonomy.Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that states that the best action is the one that maximizes utility.
"Utility" is defined in various ways, usually in terms of the well-being of sentient entities. Jeremy Bentham, the founder of utilitarianism, described utility as the sum of all pleasure that results from an action, minus the suffering of anyone involved in the action.
Utilitarianism, Kantian Ethics, Natural Rights Theories, and Religious Ethics A “utilitarian” argument, in the strict sense, is one what alleges that we ought to do. Ethical Theories in Business: Applications & Differences Act utilitarianism applies utilitarian ethics to each situation independently.
John Stuart Mill (—) John Stuart Mill () profoundly influenced the shape of nineteenth century British thought and political discourse. Summary: Animal “rights” is of course not the only philosophical basis for extending legal protections to animals.
Another, competing, basis is based on the theory of utilitarianism – the outright rejection of rights for all species and instead advocacy for equal consideration.
Act Utilitarianism and Kantian ethical theories in business (the fashion industry). Words | 10 Pages. put on workplace harassment. Act Utilitarianism and Kantian ethical theories will be applied to this report and will be used .