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Unformatted text preview: The utility of one's actions as a means for bringing about the happiness and general welfare of the entire community in which one lives is for Hume the essential criterion of goodness. This emphasis on utility , which characterizes the whole of his moral philosophy, has led some people to classify him as a utilitarian. Whether this classification is correct will depend on the meaning which is given to that term. It was employed by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill to designate that type of ethical philosophy which finds its standard of goodness in the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of persons. Hume does appear to have much in common with that doctrine, but he differs from it in one important respect: While he agrees with them in recognizing happiness as one of the things that are good, he does not admit that it is the only thing that is good. Human beings are things that are good, he does not admit that it is the only thing that is good....
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- Fall '11