What is the philosophy of utilitarianism?
Utilitarianism is the idea that the moral worth of an action is solely determined by its contribution to overall utility in maximizing happiness or pleasure as summed among all people. It is, then, the total utility of individuals which is important here, the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.
There are three principles that serve as the basic axioms of utilitarianism.
- Pleasure or Happiness Is the Only Thing That Truly Has Intrinsic Value.
- Actions Are Right Insofar as They Promote Happiness, Wrong Insofar as They Produce Unhappiness.
- Everyone's Happiness Counts Equally.
- Utilitarianism is a normative ethical theory that places the locus of right and wrong solely on the outcomes (consequences) of choosing one action/policy over other actions/policies. As such, it moves beyond the scope of one's own interests and takes into account the interests of others.
- Act and Rule Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is one of the best known and most influential moral theories. Like other forms of consequentialism, its core idea is that whether actions are morally right or wrong depends on their effects.
- Rule utilitarianism is a form of utilitarianism that says an action is right as it conforms to a rule that leads to the greatest good, or that "the rightness or wrongness of a particular action is a function of the correctness of the rule of which it is an instance".
Updated: 27th September 2018