Henry Sidgwick

in Essays on Ethics and Method

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250234
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598432 | DOI:

Series: British Moral Philosophers


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In this brief presentation of his version of utilitarianism, also known as universal hedonism, Sidgwick endeavours to eliminate the vagueness surrounding this view by distinguishing between the ethical theory utilitarianism and those theories within psychology that are sometimes classified under utilitarianism. As Sidgwick maintains, it does not follow from the fact that each person pursues her own happiness that she ought to seek the happiness of others. In distinguishing universal hedonism from egoistic hedonism, Sidgwick presents utilitarianism as providing a principle and method for determining the objective rightness of an action.

Keywords: egoistic hedonism; ethical theory; happiness; hedonism; method; principle; psychology; Sidgwick; utilitarianism

Chapter.  3548 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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