Let us take, as a starting assumption, the Benthamic understanding of the point of law: We should make laws that will increase the overall happiness of the people whose lives are affected by them. But how should we go about doing that? And more particularly, what role, if any, should our held desires play in the task of ascertaining the content of our happiness? And when, if ever, should we defer to the desires of the affected masses, and when should we not, in determining what will or will not promote happiness? The classical, or “hedonic,” utilitarians of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries suggested a number of answers to these related questions, of which I will mention two.