the ethical doctrine that virtue is based on , and that conduct should be directed toward promoting the greatest happiness of the greatest number of persons.
Contemporary Examples

But here’s what utilitarianism, according to Williams, leaves out of the picture: individual agency.
A Sophistic Moral Case For War Ali Gharib October 26, 2012

Historical Examples

Accordingly utilitarianism, or the philosophy which aims at the greatest happiness of the greatest number, is not immoral.
The Growth of a Soul August Strindberg

But the mischievousness of utilitarianism does not stop here.
Old-Fashioned Ethics and Common-Sense Metaphysics William Thomas Thornton

The same spoliation of Nature is still going on around us, and in these days of utilitarianism how can it be avoided?
Englefield Grange H. B. Paull

utilitarianism was too much for it, and its stones fell to Macadam.
Highways & Byways in Sussex E.V. Lucas

We shall first discuss the efforts of utilitarianism to deal with the problem.
Ethics John Dewey and James Hayden Tufts

It is in some such way that the transition is made from Egoism to utilitarianism.
On the Ethics of Naturalism William Ritchie Sorley

Without manufactures, without trade, without comfort to palliate such degradation, we were proclaimed converts to utilitarianism.
Thomas Davis, Selections from his Prose and Poetry Thomas Davis

Bentham’s utilitarianism is considerably different from Paley’s.
The New Gresham Encyclopedia Various

In his hands, too, utilitarianism was a political rather than an ethical doctrine.
On the Ethics of Naturalism William Ritchie Sorley

noun (ethics)
the doctrine that the morally correct course of action consists in the greatest good for the greatest number, that is, in maximizing the total benefit resulting, without regard to the distribution of benefits and burdens
the theory that the criterion of virtue is utility

1827, from utilitarian + -ism.

A system of ethics according to which the rightness or wrongness of an action should be judged by its consequences. The goal of utilitarian ethics is to promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number. Jeremy Bentham, an English philosopher, was the founder of utilitarianism; John Stuart Mill was its best-known defender.


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