# Hedonic Calculus

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#1
Really need help guys! How do you go about applying the h.c. to specific issues such as euthanasia?

I know that the Hedonic Calculus consists of 7 points:

1. Intensity (how intense the pleasure will be)
2. Duration (how long it will last)
3. Propinquity (how near it is)
4. Certainty (how certain that pleasure will result)
5. Fecundity (how much it will lead to pleasure of the same type)
6. Purity (how free from pain)
7. Extent (how many will gain pleasure)

But I'm confused as to what you are supposed to do with it. Do you have to make up your own situation and then apply the calculus - anyone got any idea?
0
15 years ago
#2
Pretty much, yes. You would probably need to write about how you can rate these, how you would know the result, giving examples. The easiest way is through one longer example, although this may not work in all cases. Euthanasia is an interesting one, being as its not so much about pleasure. The hedonic calculus is more commonly used in conjunction with sex really. eg sex before marriage.
1
15 years ago
#3
You don't have to use it atall. The trouble with quantifying such subjective things is that the applied mathematical solutions are not objective forms of logic. If you accept the hedonic calculus to be true you should use it, but you don't have to accept its truth.
1
#4
Thanks for clearing that up
0
11 years ago
#5
im a bit confused as to how you apply the hedonic calculus to any ethical dilemna.. also i dont understand how you bring in bentham and mills views? anyone wanna help
0
11 years ago
#6
basically, you think of a situation (like say someone's been convicted of murder and you need to decide whether to execute him), and then you way up each of the different points with his situation (will his family be upset? etc), then you come to the eventual conclusion on whether it is right to execute him having weighed up the pleasure and pain potential (personally, I think it doesn't work because everyone has a different opinion of how it would affect another person
hope that helped :-)
0
11 years ago
#7
we were never taught how to apply hedonic calculus to ethical situations, just the utilitarian approach in general. i always added in the hedonic calculus bit in the paragraph after the intro when i usually talked about bentham and his approach before applying it to things. i used to give the example of chocolate to explain it a bit better, as it was pretty simple . not applying it to ethical situations never hindered me, and I had an A on both ethics papers (on the old scheme).
0
11 years ago
#8
Measure pain/pleasure caused by certain acts of euthanasia to determine whether it is a good act. According to utilitarianism, euthanasia would be right as the suffering and pain is taken away so the individual doesn't have to suffer, nor does the family members. Also, taking someone off a life machine will save money for the health care service. If they are kept on for longer, there would be unnecessary suffering and money could otherwise be spent elsewhere. This is better for society overall.
Hedonic calculus is all about measuring pain/pleasure caused from an action, its not always useful though because sometimes people lack the time to calculate consequences.
0
4 years ago
#9
I think the Hedonic Calculus is, in modern terms, a rather nebulous conception since it is purely subjective in nature. How may it be applied to improve the efficiency of state institutions?
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4 years ago
#10
(Original post by brown)
Really need help guys! How do you go about applying the h.c. to specific issues such as euthanasia?

I know that the Hedonic Calculus consists of 7 points:

1. Intensity (how intense the pleasure will be)
2. Duration (how long it will last)
3. Propinquity (how near it is)
4. Certainty (how certain that pleasure will result)
5. Fecundity (how much it will lead to pleasure of the same type)
6. Purity (how free from pain)
7. Extent (how many will gain pleasure)

But I'm confused as to what you are supposed to do with it. Do you have to make up your own situation and then apply the calculus - anyone got any idea?
I experienced this same dilemma at A Level and, not having a teacher to help me, decided to focus on Bentham's philosophic radicalism and his concept of progressive politics which contributed to the 1832 Parliamentary Reform Act instead. Needless to say ... I failed. A Level exams can be so blinkered !
0
3 years ago
#11
we can also take the example of study in the class. The activity of studying is also a very good example by means of which one can judge his/her actions in terms of hedonistic calculus. Study might seem to some as a very painful activity, but later on it will give pleasure and the pleasure given/ obtained by studying lasts longer than any thing else, it will also give more intense and certain type of pleasure and it is also that the pleasure obtained by this means will lead to other pleasures as well. Thus, we can conclude that studying is a good act which can be preferred over any other activity such as going for movies, playing video games and so on. Using this example, one can elaborate the method of Bentham to the students in class and also apply the formula in one's own life as well. Thank you
0
3 years ago
#12
(Original post by BILLY JOBLING)
I experienced this same dilemma at A Level and, not having a teacher to help me, decided to focus on Bentham's philosophic radicalism and his concept of progressive politics which contributed to the 1832 Parliamentary Reform Act instead. Needless to say ... I failed. A Level exams can be so blinkered !
we can also take the example of study in the class. The activity of studying is also a very good example by means of which one can judge his/her actions in terms of hedonistic calculus. Study might seem to some as a very painful activity, but later on it will give pleasure and the pleasure given/ obtained by studying lasts longer than any thing else, it will also give more intense and certain type of pleasure and it is also that the pleasure obtained by this means will lead to other pleasures as well. Thus, we can conclude that studying is a good act which can be preferred over any other activity such as going for movies, playing video games and so on. Using this example, one can elaborate the method of Bentham to the students in class and also apply the formula in one's own life as well. Thank you
0
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