Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Preference utilitarianism: in contrast to utilitarianism, which assumes the greatest benefit for the largest number of the ones concerned, the preference utilitarianism also takes the needs or preferences into account of those concerned. However, this is not so much about momentary interests as about interests that are considered fundamental. See also utilitarianism, ethics deontology, consequentialism.

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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
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Peter Singer
I 13
Definition Preference Utilitarianism/P. Singer/SingerVsBentham/SingerVsMill/SingerVsSidgwick: my utilitarianism is not about the growth of happiness and the reduction of suffering, but about promoting the preferences of those involved.
General Public/ethics/P. Singer: Preference Utiliarianism cannot be inferred from the universal aspects of ethics.
Preference: the preferences of the individual must be weighed against the preferences of others and the community.
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I 14
Where do we get a theory from that governs this? We approach simple, pre-ethical choices. However, we cannot rely on intuitions because they can be inherited evolutionarily and therefore be unreliable in terms of what is right.
Preferences: can be for different individuals at quite different levels. Someone who would like to be a poet may forgo other forms of happiness. This cannot be pursued further here.
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I 80
Killing/Preference Utilitarianism/Animals/P. Singer: for the preference utilitarianism, killing a person is worse than killing another being (which could still be a member of the Homo Sapiens species!). The reason for this is that people are more orientated towards the future. Beings with no sense for the future have no preferences regarding them. Of course, such creatures can still fight their deaths like a fish on a hook.
Preference Utilitarianism has no reason, however, to reject a more painless method of killing fish when it is available. The fight against pain in an instant does not prove that the fish would be able to compare different perspectives for the future.
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I 81
This argument, however, only holds in connection with considerations of what is wrong with killing a person (with prospects for the future).
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I 81
Life/Preference Utilitarianism/P. Singer: does a person have the right to life according to preference utilitarianism? According to the preference utilitarianism a right cannot be offset against the preferences of others.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Sing I
Peter Singer
Practical Ethics (Third Edition) Cambridge 2011

Sing II
P. Singer
The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically. New Haven 2015


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-12-11