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Arts and Social Science introductions

Philosophy theme: Utilitarianism and the problems of justice

Task:
Critically comment on the following objection to Mill's utilitarianism: "The demands of the principle of utility sometimes conflict with the demands of justice. In those cases utilitarianism judges an unjust act to be right. This provides us with a good reason to reject utilitarianism." (From a 200 level moral and political philosophy paper, 2000 words.)
About this excerpt:

Relevance to the task: You will see that the student has extended her argument beyond what is required in the task. This is interesting for a number of reasons. In this case she felt that it extended her argument and demonstrated her understanding of the key issues, and therefore was relevant - and in this case it paid off and her grade was good.

However, be careful! It is very important that you address the task at hand, and not veer off topic. You need to become sensitive to the difference between using your voice to present your argument but remaining relevant and on task.

What to do
  • First, use the buttons on the right to guide you through the lesson. Read the excerpt and look at the notes provided.
  • Read the paragraph excerpt as well, and the full essay (optional).
  • Finally, feel welcome to contact Student Learning either personally, or via the Moodle writing forum to discuss your writing (University of Waikato students only).