Forms of consequentialism. Copyright ©2003

In consequentialist theories, the good is usually defined in non-moral terms (i.e., as that which persons in fact like, desire, seek out, enjoy), and the right is characterized in terms of maximizing the good. The good is usually defined “impartially,” that is, as the good for everyone rather than for an individual. But this need not be the case: as we see with Bentham, the good that the individual (as opposed to the legislator) is concerned with is his or her own. And exceptions are sometimes made to the non-moral character of the good: the pleasure of the sadist or the pain of the justly punished is discounted from calculations. (Bentham, notice, explicitly avoids doing this: any pleasure is a good and any punishment is bad. But he thinks that the pleasure of the sadist will always, as a matter of fact, be immensely outweighed by the victims, and punishment is legitimated by a positive net effect.).
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