Homework Assignment 1
Deadline for Submission: Wednesday, 2/26/14, by 5 pm.
Provide a medium-paragraph length answer to each question below (using full and complete sentences). The questions are about the readings listed on the syllabus for 2/19 and 2/26.
1. Identify and explain the two objections that Michael Sandel raises about Jeremy Bentham’s philosophy of Utilitarianism.
ANS: Two objections that Michael Sandel raises about Jeremy Bentham’s philosophy of Utilitarianism are “Individual Right” and “A Common Currency of Value.” In the first objection “there is no common currency of value” which mean that we cannot measure everything that we care about on a single numerical scale, we have no way of measuring happiness. Happiness in this sense is a state of mind, which cannot be assessed “objectively” in the same way as weight or blood pressure. Happiness cannot be measured with access to merit goods, since the effect of such “life chances” depend on “life abilities”. We cannot as yet measure happiness using physical indicators; therefore, everyone’s preferences count equally. And everyone has a same right to do whatever make them happiness and pleasure. A second objection is about “utilitarianism does not protect individual right”. This mean that utilitarianism considers pleasure and pain overall, but large group might get pleasure from doing harm to an individual or small group. Just because something makes people happy doesn’t make it right. Specifically it is wrong to harm certain individuals in order to make other people happy.
2. What are the three types of policies and laws that Michael Sandel identifies as being commonly rejected by libertarians? Briefly explain each type of policy, and explain why libertarians are philosophically opposed to them.
ANS: Three types of policies and laws that Michael Sandel identifies as being commonly rejected by libertarians are no paternalism, no morals legislation, and no...