Explain the Main Difference between Act and Rule Utilitarianism
Explain the main differences between Act and Rule Utilitarianism
Utilitarianism is a theory, which first became widely acknowledge when it was adopted by its greatest advocate Jeremy Bentham. It is a theory that maintains that it is an action's total consequence that determines its moral correctness. It is a theory not concerned with the effects of the action on the individual carrying out the action, but instead the effect it has on everybody affected by the action. It also maintains that it is happiness that is key to life's conquest, and hence happiness that is the determination of right or wrong. Very simply if an actions consequence cause happiness, then the action is right, if it causes pain, or destroys happiness then the action is wrong. The main philosophy of the theory of Utilitarianism is to create the greatest happiness for the greatest number.
Jeremy Bentham, and his disciple John Stuart Mill have become recognised as the two greatest sponsors of Utilitarianism. Bentham is known for his popularisation of the more traditional version of the theory, know as Act Utilitarianism. Although a student of Bentham, Mill could see problems in what he was being taught and so began to develop his own views on Utilitarianism, which are now known as Rule Utilitarianism.
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