Sample Essay

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Richard B. Brandt was known for his work published about moral philosophy. He is remembered “for his development of rule-utilitarianism” and “No adequate history of utilitarian philosophy could be written which did not discuss Brandt’s development of rule-utilitarianism.” (Hooker, 1998)

He wrote many books concerning the topic of Utilitarianism. Held made charges against traditional philosophy and it is hard to determine whether Brandt was guilty of them.

Question 2-

According to Mill the consequences of an action are measured by the amount of good that comes out of it instead of the motives behind the action. If we view terrorist attacks in this light, according to Mill they would be considered terrible. But Mill also says that if a person ever gets the opportunity to serve society at large he should sacrifice his self interests. A lot of suicide bombers believe that they are sacrificing their self interests for the benefit of their society. This discrepancy causes contradiction between the two Utilitarian principles Mill holds. (Mill, Kant, Plato, and Aristotle)

Kant on the other measures the consequences of actions through the intentions behind them. Terrorist attacks that are carried out with the intention of hurting people are considered wrong according to Kant. But once again the question arises of the suicide bomber who is so oppressed that he see the only way to benefit his society is to sacrifice himself along with others. Although he causes a lot of harm, to his ignorant mind the intention is a good one.

According to Aristotle determining what is right for a person is the most difficult thing because there are a thousand ways to be wrong for the one way to be right. He says that to find the mean, the average of something is different for everyone. Both extreme sides of the spectrum are wrong. (Mill, Kant, Plato, and Aristotle) Terrorism is extreme violence and therefore it would be considered wrong in Aristotle’s book. But according to this belief, Gandhi’s extreme non-violence would also be considered wrong, an idea that paved the way for the liberation of Hindustan.

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