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Review Questions

1. What is Utilitarianism? Why is it called the Greatest Happiness Theory? What do you think motivates the theory?

2. What is Consequentialism? Is Utilitarianism a consequentialist theory? What about Ethical egoism?

3. Is Utilitarianism teleological or deontological? Why?

4. Distinguish between Act Utilitarianism and Rule Utilitarianism? Why might one prefer Rule Utilitarianism to Act Utilitarianism? Explain the significance of the Lone Stranger case.

5. How is Ethical egoism different from Utilitarianism? How is it similar?

6. Discuss the ethical requirements to be impartial and impersonal? Do these two requirements mean precisely the same thing? Explain.

7. Explain Mill’s dictum that an agent ought to behave like a ‘benevolent spectator.’ Does Mill demand here that we are altruistic? Does he demand that we are egoistic?

8. Who is the real founder of Utilitarianism? How does his theory differ from Mill’s? Who focuses more on the QUANTITY of a pleasure? Who focuses more on the QUALITY of a pleasure?

9. Why does the QUALITY vs. QUANTITY debate matter in discussions about Utilitarianism?

10. Discuss two major criticisms of Utilitarianism. How might a Utilitarian respond?

11. Complete the following sentence: It is better to be a human being dissatisfied ….” What is Mill’s point here? Explain fully.

12. How might an Act Utilitarian approach the issue of telling the truth in a particular case? How might a Rule Utilitarian approach the same issue in this particular case? Explain fully.

13. Both Kant and the Rule Utilitarian emphasize rules. Explain the difference, if any, in their approaches. In particular, how would both theorists approach telling the truth?

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