An overview of utilitarianism

By doing so, he reaffirmed and redefined the philosophical doctrine espousing the practical, useful idea that the rightness of an action may be measured by whether it achieves the greatest possible good for the greatest possible number. It was a doctrine around which a small but influential group of English radical reformers—utilitarians—rallied, Mill among them.

An overview of utilitarianism

He focused on monetary expansion as a means of helping to create full employment. He was also aware of the relevance of forced saving, propensity to consumethe saving-investment relationship, and other matters that form the content of modern income and employment analysis. His monetary view was close to the fundamental concepts employed in his model of utilitarian decision making.

His work is considered to be an early precursor of modern welfare economics. He was concerned with maxima and minima of pleasures and pains; and they set a precedent for the future employment of the maximisation principle in the economics of the consumer, the firm and the search for an optimum in welfare economics.

Utilitarianism Summary - leslutinsduphoenix.com

After he learned more about American law and realized that most of it was state-based, he promptly wrote to the governors of every single state with the same offer.

During his lifetime, Bentham's codification efforts were completely unsuccessful. Even today, they have been completely rejected by almost every common law jurisdiction, including England. However, his writings on the subject laid the foundation for the moderately successful codification work of David Dudley Field II in the United States a generation later.

If reason alone were the criterion by which we judge who ought to have rights, human infants and adults with certain forms of disability might fall short, too.

The day has been, I am sad to say in many places it is not yet past, in which the greater part of the species, under the denomination of An overview of utilitarianism, have been treated by the law exactly upon the same footing, as, in England for example, the inferior races of animals are still. The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been witholden from them but by the hand of tyranny.

The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor.

It may one day come to be recognised that the number of the legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate.

What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog, is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old.

But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason? Bentham did not object to medical experiments on animals, providing that the experiments had in mind a particular goal of benefit to humanity, and had a reasonable chance of achieving that goal.

INTRODUCTION

He wrote that otherwise he had a "decided and insuperable objection" to causing pain to animals, in part because of the harmful effects such practices might have on human beings.

In a letter to the editor of the Morning Chronicle in Marchhe wrote: I never have seen, nor ever can see, any objection to the putting of dogs and other inferior animals to pain, in the way of medical experiment, when that experiment has a determinate object, beneficial to mankind, accompanied with a fair prospect of the accomplishment of it.

But I have a decided and insuperable objection to the putting of them to pain without any such view. To my apprehension, every act by which, without prospect of preponderant good, pain is knowingly and willingly produced in any being whatsoever, is an act of cruelty; and, like other bad habits, the more the correspondent habit is indulged in, the stronger it grows, and the more frequently productive of its bad fruit.

I am unable to comprehend how it should be, that to him to whom it is a matter of amusement to see a dog or a horse suffer, it should not be matter of like amusement to see a man suffer; seeing, as I do, how much more morality as well as intelligence, an adult quadruped of those and many other species has in him, than any biped has for some months after he has been brought into existence; nor does it appear to me how it should be, that a person to whom the production of pain, either in the one or in the other instance, is a source of amusement, would scruple to give himself that amusement when he could do so under an assurance of impunity.

It was published for the first time in The essay chastises the society of the time for making a disproportionate response to what Bentham appears to consider a largely private offence — public displays or forced acts being dealt with rightly by other laws.

When the essay was published in the Journal of Homosexuality inthe "Abstract" stated that Bentham's essay was the "first known argument for homosexual law reform in England".

For example, journalism puts power-holders under moral scrutiny. However, Bentham wanted such transparency to apply to everyone. This he describes by picturing the world as a gymnasium in which each "gesture, every turn of limb or feature, in those whose motions have a visible impact on the general happiness, will be noticed and marked down".

From the SparkNotes Blog

He strongly believed that education should be more widely available, particularly to those who were not wealthy or who did not belong to the established church; in Bentham's time, membership of the Church of England and the capacity to bear considerable expenses were required of students entering the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

As the University of London was the first in England to admit all, regardless of racecreed or political belief, it was largely consistent with Bentham's vision. There is some evidence that, from the sidelines, he played a "more than passive part" in the planning discussions for the new institution, although it is also apparent that "his interest was greater than his influence".

A large painting by Henry Tonks hanging in UCL's Flaxman Gallery depicts Bentham approving the plans of the new university, but it was executed in and the scene is entirely imaginary.

An overview of utilitarianism

Since when the Bentham Committee was first established UCL has hosted the Bentham Project, which is progressively publishing a definitive edition of Bentham's writings. In John Milton moved into a "pretty garden-house" in Petty France. He lived there until the Restoration.Utilitarianism: John Stuart Mill.

1) The basic principle of Mill's Utilitarianism is the greatest happiness principle (PU): an action is right insofar as it maximizes general utility, which Mill identifies with happiness.

Mill, John Stuart | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

NOTES: Each person's happiness counts as much as anyone else's; hence, Utilitarianism is not a form of ethical egoism in that it does not require me to pursue my own happiness. John Stuart Mill's book Utilitarianism is a classic exposition and defence of utilitarianism in ethics.

The essay first appeared as a series of three articles published in Fraser's Magazine in ; the articles were collected and reprinted as a single book in John Stuart Mill (—) John Stuart Mill () profoundly influenced the shape of nineteenth century British thought and political discourse.

Explore the mysteries of morality and the concept of right and wrong with this accessible, engaging guide featuring basic facts along with an overview of modern-day issues ranging from business ethics and bioethics to political and social ethics.

Dec 01,  · AN OVERVIEW. We need to locate our approach to Christian ethics within an understanding of different approaches to ethics and moral reasoning in general. [5] Most often, three different approaches are identified.

One of the geniuses of the modern era, John Stuart Mill coined the term “utilitarianism,” the subject of this brief, five-part essay.

By doing so, he reaffirmed and redefined the philosophical.

SparkNotes: Utilitarianism: Summary