Happiness and Utility: Jeremy Bentham's Equation

  title={Happiness and Utility: Jeremy Bentham's Equation},
  author={James H. Burns},
  pages={46 - 61}
Doubts about the origin of Bentham's formula, ‘the greatest happiness of the greatest number’, were resolved by Robert Shackleton thirty years ago. Uncertainty has persisted on at least two points. (1) Why did the phrase largely disappear from Bentham's writing for three or four decades after its appearance in 1776? (2) Is it correct to argue (with David Lyons in 1973) that Bentham's principle is to be differentially interpreted as having sometimes a ‘parochial’ and sometimes a ‘universalist… 

Jeremy Bentham, Utility, and the Golden Triangle of Happiness

  • R. Cummins
  • Economics
    Social Indicators Research Series
  • 2019
When authors describe ‘utility’ according to Bentham (An introduction to the principles of morals and legislation. Doubleday, Garden City, 1780), their usual interpretation is in terms of happiness

Jeremy Bentham, the French Revolution, and the political economy of representation (1788 to 1789)

Abstract This paper examines the texts Jeremy Bentham wrote in 1788 and 1789 for the upcoming meeting of the Estates-General in France, focusing on the arrangement of a representative assembly.

Enlightenment and Utility: Bentham in French, Bentham in France

Acknowledgements A note on translations Introduction Part I. An Englishman in the Republic of Letters: 1. Languages of Enlightenment 2. Satire and polemics 3. Defining utilitarianism: private

Hume and Smith on utility, agreeableness, propriety, and moral approval

OVERVIEW We ambitiously reexamine Smith’s moral theory in relation to Hume’s. We regard Smith's developments as glorious and important. We also see them as quite fully agreeable to Hume, as

Bentham: Punishment and the Utilitarian Use of Persons as Means

  • H. Hanafy
  • Philosophy
    Journal of Bentham Studies
  • 2021
One of the main barriers against a Utilitarian justification of punishment is a widespread criticism that if punishment is evil justified by the good it can achieve, then the state could use persons

The Confucian doctrine of the Mean, the optimality principle, and social harmony

  • J. Suh
  • Philosophy
    Society and Economy
  • 2020
The Confucian doctrine of the Mean teaches that too much is as bad as too little. The Aristotelian doctrine of the Mean coincidently articulates that there can be too much or too little of nearly

Quantifying the Unquantifiable: the role of the mathematicisation of philosophy during the Scottish Enlightenment

The reception of Newton's Principia in 1687 led to the attempt of many European scholars to ‘mathematicise' their field of expertise. An important example of this ‘mathematicisation' lies in the work

The History of Ethics

Recapitulating the most prominent Euro-Atlantic ethical concepts from Classical Antiquity to the postmodern era, the chapter emphasises the actual social and political conditionality of the

Indian Antecedents to Modern Economic Thought

The history of economic thought begins with salutations to Greek writings of Aristotle and Plato. While the fourth century BCE Greek writings may have been the fount of modern economic thought that

Utilitarianism as a Criterion for State Action

As a criterion for state action, utilitarianism faces the difficulty that it permits the expectations of some to be overridden for the benefit of others. Neither Bentham’s felicific calculus nor the