Biograph of Jeremy Bentham Essay examples

Submitted By LMaldonado1
Words: 770
Pages: 4

Loretta Maldonado
Instructor: M. Whitfield
Business Ethics – MGMT 368D
Dropbox #2 Bentham
January 20, 2015
Biography of Jeremy Bentham

Jeremy Bentham was born in Houndsditch England on February 15, 1748 and died in 1832. He was known for his stance on utilitarianism and morals. He lived a very interesting life. At age twelve, Jeremy attended Queens College in Oxford, he went to school to be an attorney following in his father’s footsteps. After Jeremy graduated from Queens College he immediately entered Lincolns Inn to study law and fund out his weakness to public speaking and left Lincoln Inn to concentrate on his writings (Kreis). Jeremy spent much of his time focusing on his writings, he wrote a number of books on philosophy, economics and politics. In the 1790’s his writings on moral theory were becoming recognized. One of his pieces that was published “The Theory of Legislation.” Another piece that he wrote was “Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation.” Bentham was known for psychological hedonism, human behavior was explained by two motives, pleasure and pain. He also believed that the individual is what was important not their interactions with others. He also talked about what brings the greatest amount of joy to most people is how you chose morally what was right and what was wrong. His idea was whatever caused the most joy and the least pain, you would apply this action to all aspects of your life and actions (Sweet). The principle of utilitarianism is usually expressed as “that an act is right or good if it produces pleasure, and evil if it leads to pain”. He also claimed that the quantity of pleasure or happiness for the greatest number of people therefore he devised the “Hedonic Calculus” this considered seven principles, each of which could be given a numerical score. The key to utilitarianism is to consider the consequences of a particular action rather than just saying that an action is intrinsically wrong in and of itself. Actions are morally neutral only their consequences have any moral value, they are not intrinsically good or bad. Bentham argued that these consequences could be calculated by the hedonic calculus. The Hedonic Calculus consisted of seven principles, each of which could be given a numerical score. Bentham believed that pleasure could be scientifically calculated according to the following seven criteria; Duration, Intensity, Richness Extent, Certainty, Purity, and Remoteness. For example, such a calculation could in theory, demonstrate who should be saved from a burning crashed car; a pregnant woman, an old man, or the doctor with a cure for cancer. Using the Utilitarian theory would suggest saving the doctor with a cure for cancer, reason being in terms of extent it would be good for the greater number of people. Therefor making the principle is strong because it is uncensored and unprejudiced. Some of Bentham’s principles of utilitarianism could be perceived as “morally wrong” since it valued quantity of happiness above quality. Utilitarianism attempts to provide a universal, democratic, accessible and practical means of assessing the normal value of an action before it is performed (Weijers). In