'Valence utilitarianism'

Utilitarianism, prioritarianism and other varieties of consequentialism.
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Arepo
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Re: 'Valence utilitarianism'

Post by Arepo » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:51 pm

The feeling of satisfaction gained from realising one is, but if that's the sole relevant component of your utilitarian theory then you're one of the people I mentioned above, whose views I can't tell apart from my own, except for the language in which we express them.
"These were my only good shoes."
"You ought to have put on an old pair, if you wished to go a-diving," said Professor Graham, who had not studied moral philosophy in vain.

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Brian Tomasik
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Re: 'Valence utilitarianism'

Post by Brian Tomasik » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:37 pm

You could say "classical utilitarianism," "Benthamite utilitarianism," or "hedonic utilitarianism." Or "emotional utilitarianism" or "affective utilitarianism." You could call yourself an affective altruist.

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Arepo
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Re: 'Valence utilitarianism'

Post by Arepo » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:15 pm

I think the first three all have PR issues, Brian (and the first two have mildly different connotations to my eye than hedonistic). Are the second two a joke? I can't tell.
"These were my only good shoes."
"You ought to have put on an old pair, if you wished to go a-diving," said Professor Graham, who had not studied moral philosophy in vain.

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Brian Tomasik
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Re: 'Valence utilitarianism'

Post by Brian Tomasik » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:36 am

"Classical utilitarianism" to most people means "hedonistic utilitarianism." The Swiss folks started co-opting it to also mean "not negative utilitarianism" for lack of a better phrase. Now the connotations are muddied in our minds but I think not in the minds of most people external to our circles?

"Emotional utilitarianism" is not a joke and seems pretty good, unless people interpret it to mean "irrational, mood-driven utilitarianism." "Affective utilitarianism" was kind of a joke, but I think it could actually be the best, because it conveys "emotion" without the "irrational" connotations. The ability to call yourself an affective altruist is just a bonus.

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Hedonic Treader
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Re: 'Valence utilitarianism'

Post by Hedonic Treader » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:31 pm

Brian Tomasik wrote:"Emotional utilitarianism" is not a joke and seems pretty good, unless people interpret it to mean "irrational, mood-driven utilitarianism."
I think they really might. They might also take it to imply a focus on sentimentalities as a form of utility. The connotation with (physical) pleasure and pain isn't strong, even though technically the unpleasantness of pain is an emotion.
"The abolishment of pain in surgery is a chimera. It is absurd to go on seeking it... Knife and pain are two words in surgery that must forever be associated in the consciousness of the patient."

- Dr. Alfred Velpeau (1839), French surgeon

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Arepo
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Re: 'Valence utilitarianism'

Post by Arepo » Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:12 pm

I agree with HT - it's certainly what the phrase makes me think of!

I think people also often associate 'classical utilitarianism' with specific claims Bentham and/or Mill made around it, esp Bentham's felicific calculus in its original (imprecise and future-discounting) form, perhaps also Mill's higher/lower pleasure distinction, and maybe a few other such details.
"These were my only good shoes."
"You ought to have put on an old pair, if you wished to go a-diving," said Professor Graham, who had not studied moral philosophy in vain.

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