Jeremy Bentham’s Utilitarianism

  • Klaus Mathis
  • Deborah Shannon
Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 84)

Utilitarianism (from Lat. utilis: useful) is a tendency within normative ethics which has developed, principally in the English-speaking world, into a complex instrument for the empirical-rational justification of norms. To the idealistic philosophers in the German-speaking world, on the other hand, the empiricist approach of utilitarian ethics remained a closed book for the most part. This can be put down to the overpowering influence of Kant. In contrast to Kantian ethics based on duties and convictions, utilitarianism is a pure ethic of results. How an action is evaluated depends not on the motives of the actor but solely on the consequences of the action concerned.2


Social Utility Innocent People Innocent Person Great Happiness Kantian Ethic 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Mathis
    • 1
  • Deborah Shannon
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of LucerneSwitzerland
  2. 2.NorwichUnited Kingdom

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