Bart Schultz

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199545971
Published online April 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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This chapter discusses the life and ethical philosophy of Henry Sidgwick. His masterpiece, The Methods of Ethics, first published in 1874, marks the culmination of the classical and nontheological utilitarian tradition, which took ‘the greatest happiness’ as the fundamental normative demand. Sidgwick was also a reformer who always advocated education as the crucial issue for historical progress, in ethics, economics, politics, and other areas. His practical ethics, often only indirectly utilitarian, involved finding common ground despite foundational ethical differences, and that common ground was the cultivation of humanity.

Keywords: Henry Sidgwick; utilitarianism; ethics; ethical theory; education

Article.  9953 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy

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