Overview

greatest happiness principle


Related Overviews

utilitarianism

Francis Hutcheson (1694—1746) moral philosopher

Jeremy Bentham (1748—1832) philosopher, jurist, and reformer

utility

 

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Philosophy

GO

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

The view that the morally correct action ‘procures the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers’ is first formulated by Hutcheson (1725, second treatise of An Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, iii. 8). But it is especially associated with Bentham, and is central to classical utilitarianism. The principle needs a great deal of interpretation, since as it stands it does not speak of issues of distribution, nor of conflicting claims, nor of course of the ways of locating and comparing happinesses.

Subjects: Philosophy.


Reference entries

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