What is utilitarianism in philosophy? How do utilitarians define morality? Utilitarianism is a moral philosophy arguing that the morality of an action or choice depends on how much happiness or pain it creates. “Happiness” to utilitarians (which they call “utility”) means pleasure and the fulfillment of desires, while a lack of happiness means pain or deprivation of desires. Keep reading to learn about the key tenets of utilitarianism philosophy and how they apply to real-life political issues.
What are “first principles” in philosophy? What are some things you should keep in mind when reasoning from first principles? First principles are self-evident assumptions that ground your reasoning. For example, in deciding which career path to pursue, you might follow the first principle that upward mobility is valuable. Here are some things you should watch out for when using the first-principles method of reasoning.
How does utilitarianism define happiness? What does utilitarian happiness have to do with morality? Utilitarianism is a moral philosophy that prescribes actions that maximize welfare or happiness. Utilitarians argue that happiness and pain are the only ways we can measure morality—morally good things make people happy, while morally bad things cause people pain. Keep reading to learn about the utilitarian conception of happiness and how can be measured.
What is Michael Sandel’s Justice about? What is the key message to take away from the book? Justice is Michael Sandel’s exploration of the philosophical perspectives on justice and morality. To this end, Sandel examines how philosophers throughout the ages have tackled political dilemmas with ethical implications, offering his own critiques along the way. Below is a brief overview of Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? by Michael Sandel.
What is the Rawlsian approach to justice? How does Rawls’s conception of justice differ from Immanuel Kant’s? John Rawls conceptualizes justice entirely in terms of reason. However, unlike Kant, who appeals to universal moral laws, Rawls focuses entirely on how a group of equally competent and entirely rational individuals would organize society. Keep reading to learn about Rawlsian theory of justice.
Are you looking for C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity quotes? What excerpts capture some of the best ideas from the book? In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis sets out to explain and defend Christian beliefs to a skeptical modern audience through a series of essays—originally delivered as a series of radio addresses in the United Kingdom between 1941 and 1944. Keep reading for a few quotes from this classic book that are sure to make you think.
Is abortion ethical? Approaching the question from the opposite angle, is it ethical to deny women the right to abortion? Abortion is a morally contentious subject. In his book Justice, American political philosopher Michael Sandel examines the contemporary debates over abortion ethics by contrasting two opposing perspectives: the rational perspective and the moral-centric perspective. Let’s examine the argument for each.
Is paid surrogacy ethical? What are some ethical issues associated with surrogate motherhood? While surrogate motherhood allows infertile and non-heterosexual couples to experience the joy of parenthood, it also brings a host of ethical concerns. Some people go as far as saying that there is no such thing as ethical surrogacy. Let’s explore the ethics of paid surrogacy by considering three contrasting perspectives on the matter.
What does it mean to be brave? What’s the opposite of courage? How is bravery different from heroism? Ryan Holiday’s Courage Is Calling teaches us the meaning of courage using principles from the ancient Greek philosophy of Stoicism. Holiday argues that every person has the innate ability to be courageous. The first step is to understand what that means. Read more to learn how the Stoics explain what true bravery is.
What is liberalism in philosophy? What is the basic tenet of liberalism? The school of the political philosophy of liberalism developed during the Enlightenment (a period of rapid scientific and ideological change in 17th- and 18th-century Europe). Yet, it still strongly influences many modern political institutions with its emphasis on reason. Keep reading to learn about the key tenets of liberalism and the different views within the school.