The first form of utilitarianism was a view by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. They viewed utilitarianism as that a person’s actions are right if they create the most pleasure, and wrong if they do not. Both men believed that pleasure and happiness were equal and considered it the ultimate value. They thought of utilitarianism as self-interest. An understanding of this is that if someone gets pleasure out of something or it makes them happy then it is okay for them to do something. For example, if someone gets pleasure out of driving much faster than the speed limit, then according to Bentham and Mill it must be right because it is giving this person pleasure when really this person is breaking the law and it is not okay to do.
The second form of utilitarianism is known as “rule utilitarianism” or called act utilitarianism. This form Is like the view of Bentham and Mill in that it is still about pleasure, but not self-pleasure. This form is on a bigger scale that it is not just one person but many people that it is for. If the overall level of happiness or pleasure is greater than the pain or unhappiness then it is considered a good action. This form is appealing for businesses since there is usually a very large amount of people. An example of this would be a company that is reconstructing its way of working. Part of the companies plan may result in people losing their jobs. Although these people lost their jobs and were unhappy, there were less people losing their jobs than that of the people that were still in the company that were happy so that makes it a good decision for the company.
2. What do economists mean by “the declining marginal utility of money?”
3. Robert Nozick presents his entitlement theory as a function of three basic principles. What are these three basic principles?
#1-The first of Nozicks principles is, A person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in acquisition is entitled to that holding. If someone gains something legally and it doesn’t affect someone else, then they have the right to what they gain. If someone was to plant a vegetable garden in their back yard that did not affect anyone else, then they are entitled to what comes out of that garden.
#2- The second of Nozicks principles is, A person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in transfer, from someone else entitled to the holding, is entitled to the holding. If the person that planted the garden decides to give away some of the vegetables to their neighbor, then their neighbor is entitled to the vegetables that were given to them.
#3- The third of Nozicks principles is, No one is entitled to a holding except by (repeated) applications of 1 and 2. If someone was to go to the vegetable garden and take from it as they pleased without the permission of the person who is already entitled to it, then they are not entitled to anything in the garden.
4. Two main features of John Rawls's theory of distributive justice are particularly important. What are these two features? Describe them.
#1- The first feature of Rawl’s theory of distributive justice is the hypothetical-contract approach. This feature of Rawl’s theory states that people in a society should come together to determine the ground rules for their society, specifically, government. He believes that instead of their society being built off of or reconstructed from what may have been in the past, that people