Pleasure and Desire

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

 Pleasure and Desire

Show Summary Details


This piece, which was revised greatly subsequent to the publication of the Methods of Ethics, appears in this collection in its original form. In it, Sidgwick distinguishes between Universal Hedonism (utilitarianism) and Egoistic Hedonism, the former espoused by Bentham, who nonetheless approves of individual self‐interest (in the form of public spiritedness), which he regards as inevitable. Mill attempts to forge a connection between the psychological and ethical principles that he and Bentham share, maintaining that, since each person seeks her own happiness, she ought to seek the happiness of others. Sidgwick endeavours to dissociate universal hedonism from the egoistic notions that appear in both Bentham and Mill's positions.

Keywords: Bentham; egoism; egoistic hedonism; happiness; Mill; self‐interest; Sidgwick; universal hedonism; utilitarianism

Chapter.  5165 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.