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Session 5 Reading: Consequentialism - Utilitarianism

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SESSION 5 READING: CONSEQUENTIALISM

Chapter 9 - "Utilitarianism"

∙ Case example: Lockheed in Japan (1972)

-- Lockheed makes payments to All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japanese

government officials to secure deal

-- Included in this is a pledge of $1.6MM to Prime Minister Tanaka made by Lockheed

manager Carl Kotchian

-- Lockheed goes ahead with this since its business is in danger and it feels that these

payments are simply a necessary factor in doing business in Japan

-- In the end, Lockheed pays a total of $12.5MM in bribes and commissions (a small

number compared to the size of the deal, but ethical concerns arise)

-- Is this bribery or "facilitating payments?"

∙ Introduction

-- Kotchian values consequences (protection of jobs and investment in company) over

potential violation of duty (responsibilities of government officials to uphold the law)

-- Moral dilemma: Consequences (teleological theory) vs. Duty (deontological theory)

-- Utilitarianism focuses more on the consequences of an action

∙ Two Types of Ethical Theories

-- Utilitarianism vs. Kantian ethics (duty) vs. Virtue (i.e., Aristotle - not covered in the

reading)

-- Teleological: ends over means (judged by maximum balance of good over bad)

∙∙ Strengths: in accord with most moral reasoning (makes sense), precise and

objective method

∙∙ Weaknesses: ignores promises and duties, does not take into consideration rights,

justice, and obligations (i.e., free speech might do more harm, yet is a basic right)

-- Deontological: actions are analyzed according to moral rules (duties)

∙∙ Strengths: good when consequences are irrelevant (e.g., contracts, family

obligations), examines motives (e.g., giving to charity for tax reasons or for

compassion)

∙∙ Weaknesses: rules seem arbitrary at times and potentially ethnocentric, no clear-

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