Utilitarianism Comparison Essay by The Research Group

Examines changes in the definition of the principle of utility.
# 24573 | 2,025 words | 7 sources | 2002 | US

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Examines changes in the definition of the principle of utility. Compares Jeremy Bentham's theory of utility to modern versions. Discusses increase in happiness element, right action, intrinsic & extrinsic (instrumental) value, Consequentialism & Utilitarianism. Concepts of "right" and "wrong;" Equality & Utilitarianism. " Cites a number of criticisms of the theory of Utilitarianism.

From the Paper:


Introduction: What is Utility?
The definition of the core of the theory -- the principle of utility -- has changed over the years, such that the modern version has a number of significant differences from that given by Jeremy Bentham:

By the principle of utility is meant that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever, according to the tendency it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question: or, what is the same thing in other words, to promote or to oppose that happiness (Bentham, 2000, p.11).
The modern definition is effectively this:

An action is right if it produces as much or more of an ..."

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