Definitions for utilitarianismyuˌtɪl ɪˈtɛər i əˌnɪz əm
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
u•til•i•tar•i•an•ismyuˌtɪl ɪˈtɛər i əˌnɪz əm(n.)
the ethical doctrine that virtue is based on utility, and that conduct should be directed toward promoting the greatest happiness of the greatest number of persons.
utilitarian quality or character.
Origin of utilitarianism:
doctrine that the useful is the good; especially as elaborated by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill; the aim was said to be the greatest happiness for the greatest number
A system of ethics based on the premise that something's value may be measured by its usefulness.
the theory that action should be directed toward achieving the "greatest happiness for the greatest number of people"; hedonistic universalism.
the doctrine that the greatest happiness of the greatest number should be the end and aim of all social and political institutions
the doctrine that virtue is founded in utility, or that virtue is defined and enforced by its tendency to promote the highest happiness of the universe
the doctrine that utility is the sole standard of morality, so that the rectitude of an action is determined by its usefulness
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
the theory which makes happiness the end of life and the test of virtue, and maintains that "actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, and wrong as they tend to produce the reverse," a theory characterised by Carlyle, who is never weary of denouncing it, as "reducing the infinite celestial soul of man to a kind of hay-balance for weighing hay and thistles on, pleasures and pains on." The great apostle of this theory was John Stuart Mill, and the great father of it Jeremy Bentham.
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