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Economics and Philosophy 7 (1):1-12 (1991)
“Utility,” in plain English, means usefulness. In Australia, a ute is a useful vehicle. Jeremy Bentham specialized the meaning to a particular sort of usefulness. “By utility,” he said, “is meant that property in any object, whereby it tends to produce benefit, advantage, pleasure, good, or happiness or to prevent the happening of mischief, pain, evil, or unhappiness to the party whose interest is considered”. The “principle of utility” is the principle that actions are to be judged by their usefulness in this sense: their tendency to produce benefit, advantage, pleasure, good, or happiness. When John Stuart Mill spoke of the “perfectly just conception of Utility or Happiness, considered as the directive rule of human conduct,” he was using “Utility” as a short name for this principle. “The greatest happiness principle” was another name for it. People who subscribed to this principle came to be known as utilitarians
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References found in this work BETA
John Stuart Mill (2009). Utilitarianism. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press
John Broome (1991). Weighing Goods: Equality, Uncertainty and Time. Wiley-Blackwell.
John Stuart Mill (2009). Utilitarianism. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Ethics: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press
Henry Sidgwick (1907). The Methods of Ethics. Thoemmes Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Daniel M. Hausman (2010). Hedonism and Welfare Economics. Economics and Philosophy 26 (3):321-344.
Roberto Fumagalli (2013). The Futile Search for True Utility. Economics and Philosophy 29 (3):325-347.
Christopher Gauker (2005). The Belief-Desire Law. Facta Philosophica 7 (2):121-144.
Olof Johansson-Stenman (1998). On the Problematic Link Between Fundamental Ethics and Economic Policy Recommendations. Journal of Economic Methodology 5 (2):263-297.
Amartya Sen (1991). Utility: Ideas and Terminology. Economics and Philosophy 7 (2):277.
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