Utilitarianism "A moral theory according to which an action is right if and only if it conforms to the principle of utility. Bentham formulated the principle of utility as part of such a theory in Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation in 1789. An action conforms to the principle of utility if and only if its performance will be more productive of pleasure or happiness, or more preventive of pain or unhappiness, than any alternative. Instead of 'pleasure' and 'happiness' the word 'welfare' is also apt: the value of the consequences of an action is determined solely by the welfare of individuals. A characteristic feature of Bentham's theory is the idea that the rightness of an action entirely depends on the value of its consequences. This is why the theory is also described as consequentialist. Bentham's theory differs from certain other varieties of utilitarianism (or consequentialism ) by its distinctive assumption that the standard of value is pleasure and the absence
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This note was uploaded on 11/13/2009 for the course ETHICS ethics taught by Professor None during the Three '09 term at University of Sydney.