PHI 2301 Assignment The Polis in a Utilitarian Society

PHI 2301 Assignment The Polis in a Utilitarian Society

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: PHI 2301 Assignment The Polis in a Utilitarian Society

Title:  PHI 2301 Assignment The Polis in a Utilitarian Society

The psychological doctrines of empiricism, associationism, and hedonism served as intellectual sources for the development of utilitarianism in the 18th century and psychophysics in the 19th. Utilitarianism, first articulated by Bentham in 1781, makes four implicit but nevertheless important psychophysical assumptions: (1) that utilities, which reflect “benefit, advantage, pleasure, good or happiness,” are quintessentially psychological concepts; (2) that utilities are quantitative; (3) that utilities are commensurable across different objects; and (4) that utilities are commensurable across individuals. Although utilities sometimes reflect the satisfaction of biological needs, they commonly represent psychological valences or values, whose subjective strengths may themselves derive, dynamically, from processes of decision-making.

Over the centuries, in weaning itself from its philosophical parents and emerging as an independent discipline, psychology established, developed, and elaborated a small number of core concepts and principles, three of which are notable. The principle of empiricism takes experience with the world as a primary means for shaping our minds and behaviors. The principle of association claims that spatial and temporal contiguities can account for the links between mental events, and between behavioral responses and stimuli. And the principle of hedonism regards pleasures and pains as central psychological forces that spur people to act, through biologically and culturally shaped systems of rewards and punishments.

The principles of empiricism, associationism, and hedonism merged in the 18th century, notably in the writings of psychologically minded philosophers, such as David Hume. Hume played an especially noteworthy role in the history of psychology, and, implicitly in the history of psychophysics. Building on the work of Hobbes, Locke, and Berkeley, Hume sought psychological answers to questions that had theretofore largely been treated from a “rational”, or philosophical, perspective. To try to answer epistemological questions – How may we know whether a statement is true? How can knowledge be justified – Hume first reformulated the questions themselves, asking: How is knowledge acquired and constituted? Hume then answered by saying (to summarize crudely): through experience (empiricism), and by the workings of the mind (association, hedonism). The very title of Hume’s major work, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739), indicates the thrust of his approach. To Hume, perceptions constitute the raw ingredients of mental life, and within less than a century, scientists would begin investigating the mechanisms, psychophysical and neural, that underlie perceptual experience.


Bentham’s utilitarianism

PHI 2301 Assignment The Polis in a Utilitarian Society
PHI 2301 Assignment The Polis in a Utilitarian Society

Already by the late 18th century, the psychological principles of empiricism, associationism, and hedonism would find a comfortable haven, by way of Hume, in the writings of Jeremy Bentham, where these principles would form the backbone to his theory of utilitarianism. Utilitarianism, broadly construed, sought a scientific framework for political and moral decision-making (Bentham, 1781/1948). Utilitarianism aimed to do this by applying computational formulas to subjective (psychological, mental) quantities. From the perspective of utilitarianism, even the Aristotelian virtues, as I shall argue, may be translated into a set of psychological quantities – utilities, in Bentham’s terms – that operate within appropriately formulated mathematical equations.

Bentham’s (1781/1948) proposal is well known: “By utility is meant that property in any object, whereby it tends to produce benefit, advantage, pleasure, good or happiness … or to prevent the happening of mischief, pain, evil or unhappiness to the party whose interest is considered” (p. 2). Utility, designated here as U, represents the psychological value or subjective worthiness of a stimulus object. To broaden the concept, U may be negative as well as positive, where a negative utility would refer to a property in an object that, to paraphrase Bentham, produces rather than ameliorates mischief, pain, evil or unhappiness. As a psychological entity, utility implicitly entails a psychophysics.

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Important information for writing discussion questions and participation

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Hello class and welcome to the class and I will be your instructor for this course. This is a -week course and requires a lot of time commitment, organization, and a high level of dedication. Please use the class syllabus to guide you through all the assignments required for the course. I have also attached the classroom policies to this announcement to know your expectations for this course. Please review this document carefully and ask me any questions if you do. You could email me at any time or send me a message via the “message” icon in halo if you need to contact me. I check my email regularly, so you should get a response within 24 hours. If you have not heard from me within 24 hours and need to contact me urgently, please send a follow up text to

I strongly encourage that you do not wait until the very last minute to complete your assignments. Your assignments in weeks 4 and 5 require early planning as you would need to present a teaching plan and interview a community health provider. I advise you look at the requirements for these assignments at the beginning of the course and plan accordingly. I have posted the YouTube link that explains all the class assignments in detail. It is required that you watch this 32-minute video as the assignments from week 3 through 5 require that you follow the instructions to the letter to succeed. Failure to complete these assignments according to instructions might lead to a zero. After watching the video, please schedule a one-on-one with me to discuss your topic for your project by the second week of class. Use this link to schedule a 15-minute session. Please, call me at the time of your appointment on my number. Please note that I will NOT call you.

Please, be advised I do NOT accept any assignments by email. If you are having technical issues with uploading an assignment, contact the technical department and inform me of the issue. If you have any issues that would prevent you from getting your assignments to me by the deadline, please inform me to request a possible extension. Note that working fulltime or overtime is no excuse for late assignments. There is a 5%-point deduction for every day your assignment is late. This only applies to approved extensions. Late assignments will not be accepted.

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Plagiarism is highly prohibited. Please ensure you are citing your sources correctly using APA 7th edition. All assignments including discussion posts should be formatted in APA with the appropriate spacing, font, margin, and indents. Any papers not well formatted would be returned back to you, hence, I advise you review APA formatting style. I have attached a sample paper in APA format and will also post sample discussion responses in subsequent announcements.

Your initial discussion post should be a minimum of 200 words and response posts should be a minimum of 150 words. Be advised that I grade based on quality and not necessarily the number of words you post. A minimum of TWO references should be used for your initial post. For your response post, you do not need references as personal experiences would count as response posts. If you however cite anything from the literature for your response post, it is required that you cite your reference. You should include a minimum of THREE references for papers in this course. Please note that references should be no more than 5 years old except recommended as a resource for the class. Furthermore, for each discussion board question, you need ONE initial substantive response and TWO substantive responses to either your classmates or your instructor for a total of THREE responses. There are TWO discussion questions each week, hence, you need a total minimum of SIX discussion posts for each week. I usually post a discussion question each week. You could also respond to these as it would count towards your required SIX discussion posts for the week.

I understand this is a lot of information to cover in 5 weeks, however, the Bible says in Philippians 4:13 that we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us. Even in times like this, we are encouraged by God’s word that we have that ability in us to succeed with His strength. I pray that each and every one of you receives strength for this course and life generally as we navigate through this pandemic that is shaking our world today. Relax and enjoy the course!

Hi Class,

Please read through the following information on writing a Discussion question response and participation posts.

Contact me if you have any questions.

Important information on Writing a Discussion Question

  • Your response needs to be a minimum of 150 words (not including your list of references)
  • There needs to be at least TWO references with ONE being a peer reviewed professional journal article.
  • Include in-text citations in your response
  • Do not include quotes—instead summarize and paraphrase the information
  • Follow APA-7th edition
  • Points will be deducted if the above is not followed

Participation –replies to your classmates or instructor

  • A minimum of 6 responses per week, on at least 3 days of the week.
  • Each response needs at least ONE reference with citations—best if it is a peer reviewed journal article
  • Each response needs to be at least 75 words in length (does not include your list of references)
  • Responses need to be substantive by bringing information to the discussion or further enhance the discussion. Responses of “I agree” or “great post” does not count for the word count.
  • Follow APA 7th edition
  • Points will be deducted if the above is not followed
  • Remember to use and follow APA-7th edition for all weekly assignments, discussion questions, and participation points.
  • Here are some helpful links
  • Student paper example
  • Citing Sources
  • The Writing Center is a great resource